April 20, 2013 by Julia
These past two weeks of spring have been particularly beautiful, to the point that I ache. The sunlight through the new green leaves is almost too much. Things are sparkly. Storms are coming. Tulips have bloomed in my garden, and I didn’t have to do a thing to get them here. They just showed up.
It might just be the allergies and rain, but lately I don’t feel fit to socialize with other human beings. I can’t think of things to talk about. I am in a dreamy haze, following my rain-booted children with a camera, trying to capture the fleeting beauty of this season of our lives.
When the seasons change, I think our perspectives deepen and become more far-reaching. Maybe that’s where the sweet ache comes from. Fall makes me nostalgic for things that are either passing or long gone. Spring makes me long for experiences I can’t quite articulate. Something wild, or luxurious. I want to go out dancing, or hike a mountain, or lie in bed all day with the windows open, reading an entire book. I want to grab it all. The kids seem to feel the same way.
I can’t help seeing the art in our days. Children are endlessly captivating subjects. They almost literally glow. Their loveliness is like the light at the end of the tunnel – whatever tunnel you happen to find yourself in at that moment.
Photos might not tell the whole story. They don’t tell that on our way to the gardens I had to stop for an emergency preschooler bathroom break in an unknown neighborhood, and I nearly lost it. But the photos can’t entirely lie, either. The beauty they show is actually there – in our little family, in the wide-open sky, in the wind blowing Fiona’s hair.
The entire morning may have been a wash: we left the house in disarray, watched too much TV, lost our patience with one another. But here are my glowing children, running through a garden, getting dirt on their faces, screaming and exploring and splashing. Maybe I am giving them a good childhood, after all. And as for me – I could be in an office somewhere, eating a Lean Pocket (not even a Hot Pocket!) at my desk – but instead I am here, having a picnic. I may not get to eat much during this picnic, and I may have to eventually strap Jack into his stroller to keep him from running away, but still. These are the kinds of experiences that made me want to be a parent.
So I take a picture, to help me focus on the beauty of it all.
And there’s that beautiful ache, again.