Friday, May 25, 2012

The seasons are turning. I am not.

I wish the seasons meant something to me anymore.

You know?

I wish summer still meant long, lazy days. Reading on the couch, collapsing under the swamp cooler, lining up my toy horses on the front porch. Running errands with my mom and siblings. A soundtrack of talk radio. Dinners on the back porch, talking into the night. Sibling sleepovers in the living room, in carefully constructed blanket tents and kitchen-chair beds.

That almost-endless span of nothing-to-do in which Everything could be accomplished.

With a super awesome birthday in there somewhere, my brother's a month earlier like the warm-up act for my own.

Dog days of summer.
Monsoons, that comforting pattern of sun and cloud and lightning and rain, cool/warm rain to quench the earth's thirst, and ours, for something to break the tyranny of the sun in the desert.

And then the thrill of school shopping, poring over schedules. Planning and dreaming and scheming to make everything about this year perfect. Notebooks and pencils and backpacks and pens. The change of pace, the comfort of routine.

Leaves in the fountain.
School begins in early August in New Mexico, so it always came before cooler weather. The crisp scent of fall didn't tickle our senses until midterms. And then, as it got colder, the excitement of Christmas: another break, another abandonment of now-stifling routine. Trees and lights and church. And presents--presents to request, presents to buy, presents to make, presents to wrap, presents to hunt for in the backs of closets.

The quiet, sated week between Christmas and New Years. The final party, welcome, new year! The return to school, docile with celebration hangover.

Lights in downtown Tulsa.
The hard slog of January, February, March to Easter break. Cold (though not wet like Tulsa, blech). Working day in and day out, routine to the extreme. Ordinary time. 

Spring Break, a much-needed respite. Warmer weather. Lilacs in bloom. The year's most pleasant walks to and from school (or are those in the fall?).

Backyard flowers.
The jittery excitement as summer approaches. A whirlwind of end-of-year activities, yearbooks and goodbyes, final concerts and awards presentations. Exams, later, and scores and grades that mean something. The frantic buildup and the sudden release, all of summer stretching before me in its hazy, fertile glory.

Now it seems like life consists of nothing but that January/February/March slog. The endless routine, always the same. Nothing changes. Nothing to anticipate. The same dreary work, the same evening routine of gym-chores-dinner-tv-bed. Weekends longed-for but wasted in more chores and commitments and an unfulfilling laziness that is only a cheap imitation of rest. The same bleary-eyed awakenings, begrudging the alarm.

Sometimes it's hot, sometimes it's cold. I'll wear sweaters and boots or tanks and sandals. But it's the same stuff I'm doing. No breaks. No vacations. No completion.

And maybe that's fine. There's nothing wrong with my routine, with the tasks that fill my days and weeks and months and years.

I just wish the seasons meant something again.

You know?


  1. It's so funny you posted this I am taking a day off from work for the first time since my wedding (way back in October). And it wasn't until I woke up at 9 today and went out to brunch with JM that I realized I feel EXACTLY the same way! I didn't realize that I was in a routine rut of doing the same thing every day no matter what time of year it was. But now that I have an unexpected day off (besides the weekends) it's amazing how much I'm appreciating the gorgeous weather outside, the summer colors in the foliage, and everyone walking around in shorts and sunglasses!

    1. Right? In case it sounds too much like complaining, I should point out that we did take a quick trip to OKC last month that was just what I needed, and we're going to Michigan for a week at the end of June for a family reunion, and that will be fun, too.

      But it's not about a vacation going somewhere, it's just about a change of pace. Having freedom to be outside at different times of the day, or to do things, or not do them, just because you feel like it and not because you have to. Just to be able to do something /different/.

      I'm glad you had such a lovely day off! ^_^

  2. I so love this, Katie! Three years ago, I would have said I feel the EXACT same way. But, I can give you a little hope, that when your baby is born, and more so as he/she ages, you will at least get to taste some of those sweet memories you have from your own childhood as you recreate them. It still is not the same, but in some ways, it's better. I really love this. Posted it to the Every Breath Facebook page!

    1. Oh, wow, thank you, Jen!

      That's part of what I worry about--if I keep having to work full-time and Critter is in daycare year-round, will s/he make these sort of rythmic memories? Or will s/he never know this sort of moving-with-the-seasons feeling and only ever know this same sort of grind that I myself find so dull?

      Always something to worry about, isn't there? But yes, I'm looking forward to maybe getting a sense of the seasons back as Critter and its eventual siblings grow older.