Monday, May 2, 2016

Berries & Cream || A Contemplation on Transition


I bought strawberries from the stand by our house this weekend. As soon as I took the cardboard container from the woman's hands the romantic smell of spring-summer transition wafted into my nose. I smiled over the pock-marked red flesh of the berries while they teased me with their scent. I ate seven berries on the mile drive home. The juice of the berries ran down my cheek as I tossed the small stems out the window. I smiled at the smallness of the moment. And then had another.

I love strawberries. Their sweetness, their mini seeds, the way they pair perfectly with whipped cream fresh from my stand mixer. But more than that, I love their reminder that transition can be sweet and good. Because strawberries are best now -in the middle of spring as the weather walks warmly toward summer. They soak up individual rays of sunlight while on the vine and hold tight to the heat until they're sitting in the depths of your belly.

Life's felt transitional since my dad died. That's four months of trying to settle in to whatever this season wants to be called. Some days it seems to beckon Peace or Hope going even so far as Faith, while others it points at names like Chaos and Trying.

There's literal changes -like office locations and weather patterns and months passing- and faith changes -wrestling turned to stillness, defiance turned to defeat- and personal changes -choosing routine over chaos, promising space instead of choking expectations- that mark this time and place. And in there are the Feelings.

Feelings is a large family. A large family that comes for unexpected visits that often last longer than you wish. A family that moves in and won't move out until they decide it's time regardless of your opinion. Feelings aren't particularly gentle or willing to be moved. They certainly aren't considerate or concerned by your circumstance. And that's what can make the Feelings hard to behold.

Until you serve them strawberries with vanilla whipped cream.

And then, you're here in the transition with Feelings and a nameless season, but things aren't feeling so dire because spring's promise and summer's warmth fill your belly. Let transition be kind. 

You're settled comfortably under the warm blanket of the sun while you lounge deeper into a chair on the back porch. Allow the sweetness to seep in despite the way that nothing feels definitive.

Because -as painful as it is to say and to hear- this too will pass and summer will come in full, hot heat sort of ways.

I declare May the month of strawberry moments.

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