17/52 – May

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​May.

May Day, my mother’s birthday, Mother’s Day, visits to Grandma’s, Cinco de Mayo, Free Comic Book Day, my name saint’s feast day, retreats and writing, and the April showers have brought the May flowers.

As I get ready in the mornings, I look out the window. I like to check the sky and the breeze, and smell the fresh spring air. On many of these mornings, I’m reminded of one of the reasons that we bought our house, and that I do love many parts of it despite our buying and maintaining experience.

The beautiful garden.

Parts of it really come alive in May. May is when we looked at the house, before the lies and the problems that lie ahead. Our first view was of the forsythia trees in front of the house, the bread and butter hostas, the lilac tree in the expansive back yard. The smell of spring was everywhere. All the natural aspects of the house, the ones you can’t fake, you can’t improve other than weeding, what will remain indefinitely after the sellers leave and we stay in our new home.

The row of forsythia trees that line one side of our property in particular. The bloom opposite the pine trees on the street border. Along the upper garden are three other forsythia trees, not to mention the four in the front of the house. I call it the upper garden because it is a two tiered planting space that comes alive every year, hiding the broken pots and decaying fall leaves. We always mean to get rid of them, but fall turns into late fall, and the first snow envelops them in a pile of white fluff. The garden is separated by a small stone and slate boundary wall making it one of the more unusual gardens in our neighborhood.

We really do have a beautiful backyard.

The forsythias are blooming their bright yellow petals, and shine in the sunlight.

Adjacent to one of them is a lilac tree. It may be a bush, but it seems too tall to be a bush, and so I call it a tree.

At the moment, it is barely budding; the green poking out of the bare sticks of branches that will soon be weighed down heavily with the purple petals that gather themselves into natural bouquets.

It is the one time a year that I grab my chair and sit out in the backyard, close enough to smell the fragrance that is overpowering in its appeal.

I would estimate the purple, lilac color to begin in about two weeks.

May is most colorful and bright.

It will fill out the tree, and brighten the yard, but unfortunately will only be present for the month of May, maybe the first week of June.

I’ll go out with my camera, and post to Facebook and Instagram. I’ll look out of the window and smile every time my eye catches the hint of lilac color, and even though I’m far away from the tree itself, I can almost smell it.

So many senses alive, and to think it’s one little tree at the top of a two tier garden.

But it’s also May.

Prompt – 1/12 – Choices and What Ifs

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It is spring and there is a new writing group on the horizon. Six weeks of memoir writing, which means twelve new prompts.

Our theme this session is Choices and What Ifs. Over the course of our lives, there are so many of those big and little choices that take us where we go, sometimes where we long to go, and sometimes where we have to go.

As the Doctor (Who) says, “We don’t always go where we want to, but we do go where we need to.”
Nothing could be more true than my life in the past almost decade or so.

We all have those moments – should we turn left? Or right?

Go to college or get married? Or both?

Have children or wait?

Eat that cheeseburger or grab a salad?

So many seemingly unrelated choices that form our reality.

But what if we had turned right instead of left?

Taken that gap year to Europe?

Lived impulsively or more prudently?

Here’s our chance to explore those choices and remind us of the ones we did take, and where we are now.

It’s not simply about regret or justification; it’s so much deeper than that.

Let’s go.

The first prompt is an assignment. It was the first one I was given at the start of this session.

Make a list of life choices.

They are not necessarily things you would change or keep. We’re not there yet. Just the choices in your life.

For an example, here are three of mine (of a much longer list):

1. Choosing a major for college

2. Reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
3. Attending a political protest

They seem innocent enough, but have all had a major impact on my life and future choices.