When the Lawns Look Like Fur Coats and the Trees Exude Perfume
It’s that moment in spring when it has been cool and rainy and the noisy guys on their mowers can’t keep up with the grass. I live in a city known for its flowering trees and shrubs and this year they are spectacular, brilliant, and unbelievably fragrant. It almost makes up for winter.
And next week it gets summery warm. I’ve been writing and thinking about new beginnings, not just the normal spring thoughts but the thoughts of emerging, like those seventeen year cicadas rising from beneath the ground to eat, mate, and die, blissfully I hope.
I like the eat and mate part but I’m not ready for a denouement, not just yet. And I guess we are too far north to hear them singing, though we will get their short-lived cousins later in summer when the evenings get warm. It is a sound that I live for each year.
The cicadas develop hard shells that they molt off and leave clinging to tree bark. They look like their insect former owners, except they are stiff and a caramel brown. As kids we collected them. One year my brother and I gathered a bunch of them and hid them all over my younger sister’s room. The kind of thing we did regularly.
Those times exist in a permanent memory surrounded by haze but captured in Kodachrome color. I met a muse recently. She has all the qualities that define one. Beautiful and alluring, intelligent, and provocative. It’s been awhile since I was touched by one of these creatures. It is both terrifying and a great relief to discover that part of me is still alive.
This muse even has a classical name, so I’m going with the muse theory. The not-quite-human aura. Maybe it’s just spring fever but I’m ok with that. Whatever she does, it is definitely driving me to write more than ever and to love every minute of it, even the freelance stuff.
I’ve been encouraging writers here to dig a little deeper, to challenge ourselves to find real insights rather than dwelling in the shallows. And I’m getting a lot of feedback from readers that this depth is what they want.
But here’s the thing: it’s hard. It’s hard to find your subject, which is only an opening, then step into it. You can’t think…