As I sit here in quiet contemplation on this cozy afternoon, the rain sputters and drips from clouds that have been half-eaten by the sun. There has not been the rain that all the weather reports have promised. It has been only a slight disappointment, as we need the moisture here, but also one would be lying to say that the ambivalent feelings on the disappointment end lies at the underbelly of living in “tornado alley.” Although we want the rain, we don’t want so much that it stirs up the atmosphere into a dark, swirling eddy of terror.
My husband is in the depths of his Sunday afternoon nap, and I watch the temperature gauge on the wood stove rise above 500°. It’s a chilly afternoon, even if we are well into spring, with Cinco De Mayo right around the corner. I washed the windows last week (lucky for me there aren’t that many) and I am certain I’ve never seen so clearly before. Never have I taken a washing so seriously-scrubbing with a sponge and soap, then finishing up with vinegar and newsprint. The ladder even emerged for this event! I removed torn screens and proclaimed they might as well not be obstructing our view if they’ll do us no earthly good! Inside and outside the glass was scrubbed, the curtains were washed, old paint splatters from previous inhabitants scraped away with a blade. I’ve been needing the clarity for quite some time.
Sometimes you don’t realize how much something needs cleaned until you’ve done it. Here we have been, living hurried lives, bird-watching through water-stained windows. My God how vibrant the Cardinals are! How beautiful the golden faces of dandelions! Every time I look outside, I witness an unfamiliar, fascinating thing. I’ve seen new dogs running the streets; my cat enjoying the dappled sunlight beneath the smoke tree (even though she whines every time I put her outside) and the neighbor girl is driving now!
Something discouraging to me, however, is that two of my three sewing room windows have been cracked, due to hail, and my view from them is clouded. I feel a bit like a jilted lover; I’ve cleaned and made promises to spend more time in front of them, and then when I wash away the suds, I’ve been left with obscured fog and unreachable stains. I love the morning light in that room. But all that love won’t fix a crack.
Spring cleaning is a real thing, and I’m glad for it. I picture life at different angles now that the screens are gone. I find myself enamored with sights from windows that were previously ignored, and things that I once thought were worth looking at seem a bit dull in brighter clarity. Glass that I formerly favored is now appreciated for its light, but I prefer the crispness of other views.
What does Spring give to you?