It’s spring in New Mexico. For some parts of my large state, that means mercurial shifts in temperature with low 80s one day and upper 40s the next. For the southern part of the state, it’s a breath of beauty before scorching summer sucks what little rain might have fallen back into the air before it ever hits the earth.
However, there’s one thing that spring means for everyone and everything in NM: hellatious winds. We’re talking all the levels of Dante’s hells combined into one. Daily gusts from 60 or 75 mph. Winds that strip fruit trees of their fragile whites and pinks. Blizzards of petals slapping sand-blasted faces and swirling into banks at sidewalk curbs. Highways closed due to zero visibility. Soil transformed into angry clouds of murky brown.
I can’t sleep this time of year. Winds roar at night. It’s not the weird banging of branches against my bedroom walls, it’s the unsettledness of the world that gets to me . . . The lifting up of things better left on the ground, the battering of new plants just trying to set in before the ravages of drought-ridden summers . . . It’s the horrid knowing that someone’s smoldering cigarette butt, carelessly cast out of a car window, will destroy mountainside forests that took centuries to grow.
This year, I’m thinking more about the winds than usual. They usher in a new season, presage change. When I take my long walks after work, the violent movement of air forces me to keep a stronger center so that I don’t get pushed off the sidewalk into the street. There’s powerful symbolism in that for me. So much of my life is changing drastically: A long marriage facing its end, shifts in culture and responsibilities at work, the end of posting on a blog I’ve loved and nurtured for seven years.
And yet I feel much less adrift in the middle of all this flux than I ever have before. With my knees bent and my body lowered against the gusts, I’m building in a certain — new — ability to sway rather than break.
I don’t like when people tell me that with one shut door, others open. But in typical contradictory style, I also do feel the optimism intrinsic in movement, the blessed knowledge that the only constant is, indeed, change. I’m sad with the end of my marriage, of Murderati as we know it, of what I thought I knew about myself on some levels. Yet I look bright-eyed to the future, to possibilities in these most windy of life days.
Questions for today:
1. What is spring like where you live?
2. Have you ever noticed a sense of internal centeredness when you would’ve expected otherwise?
(And yes, I know this is the long goodbye this month, I just had to give everyone a break with a more general post.)