The Force Of Return (And Some Finch)

Every year of my life since I can consciously remember myself, I have disliked spring. I hate wind. I hate the harsh angle of the sun. I hate the look of crusted, receding grey snow against mashed brown grass and leaf mould. It has always felt like a period of transition that could not decide on its personality. Spring seemed to lack conviction.

Gathering bits and pieces of the personalities of the three other seasons, it fails to present a solid sense of self and rather appears like the nerdy kid from grade five recess who makes all her attempts at adopting outward character painfully obvious. Her barrettes are the right kind but pinned in awkward places and you can tell that her faux-quirky socks were really an attempt by her mother to help her fit in rather than any chance luck on her part. When she's excited she yells too loud too often, and when she's shy she embarrasses everyone like her underwear is showing.

Spring has felt awkward and unpleasant and fickle every year of my life, and I expected this time around to be no different. I was wrong. It still feels a little awkward, because I do not know what to wear and do not own proper spring clothing that fits. Unpleasantness comes with the spring winds, but the winds have been less than expected. It's still somewhat fickle as well, but it seems to be doing less taunting and teasing than in previous years.

This year, the earliest signs of spring were not welcomed. I was showing all the early warning symptoms of my annual seasonal depression hitting fast and hard. Social anxiety, spontaneous bouts with severe self-doubt, dysmorphic body issues, and tears springing up every time I experienced an emotion above or below static: these are my intimate's from springs past. We huddle together under a dismal malaise drowning any extra stimuli with beer and long baths.

These companions seem less interested in me this year for some reason. I know that they're not fond of the St. John's Wort I have been taking, but they have never just up and left completely over it. Whatever the reason, I am not complaining in the least. I would have shown them the door ages ago if I had known that they could be persuaded to leave.

Now that they have gone, I am more than a little confused about how I am feeling. Is this happiness?

When I want to eat toast or drink coffee or kiss the Fiery One, I want all the toast and all the coffee and all of the Fiery One sucked up past my lips and inside my mouth. It is not that I am greedy. It is that I want to experience some things deeply and completely. I want to gorge myself on their existence.

Come to think of it, this desire I have been feeling is highly sexual in nature. I have never been one for the spring heat (as in going into), because I always get all hot and bothered in the fall. Apparently, this year all my expectations about the present season and what it brings are going to be disappointed. (one big sarcastic) Damn.

I want wet mud between my toes, wedging itself firmly under my toenails, creating that comforting pressure against my nail beds.

The trees' limbs and fingers are growing fatter every day, threatening to burst out their plump buds at any moment, and the anticipation is killing me. It is akin to the thrill I felt as a child in the moment before my father would drop me from above his head, even though I knew he would catch me just before I passed his knees.

The cool air I breathe in on the way to the bus in the mornings races brilliantly through my nostrils, filling my head like fresh air through windows during spring cleaning. Is clear a feeling?

I am not so much an animated hunk of meat anymore as a conduit for the kinetic flow of adventure.

The idea that everything we perceive is memory (every moment, even the moment that we think is Now, is already the past) is not distressing me as mightily. If indeed we are never able to truly access the present through the system known as the human body, that's fine. My near-presents are pretty fucking good lately, and if I were able to access them directly, I might just blow a gasket.

So, this year is different than all the others. Things do change. I can change. It is unbelievable how many times the force of return brings me back and back again to thinking that all things stay the same, and then I am slammed with the juicy and unsettling truth that change is the constant. I have been both correct and mistaken. All things change, all things change perpetually, change is constant, all things are as they always were. I had simply forgotten.

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"Changing Woman" by Annie Finch

Click on the pig when you are feeling stressed.

I like Michael Nobbs.