The muscles in my arms and back quiver from exhaustion, 30 lbs is a load no matter how it is packaged. I can still see the sunlight dancing off the blue of the water in the East River as I sat on the grass contemplating what, and how, to verbalize how I was feeling in response to my friends’ candid words. The taste of flaky, buttery croissant still lingering on my tongue twelve hours later. The squealing and giggling of morning and afternoon delights still ringing in my ears. A level of contentment and exhaustion so intertwined and all consuming that I think I could both fall asleep if I blinked for too long and stay up until 2:00AM basking in the remains of the day.
Spring has sprung, even without the winter we have grown so accustomed to. Walking to the subway at 7:30 this morning I wore only a light sweater over my short sleeves. By 9:00AM I was too hot in my sweater, the sun soaking into my pores leaving me feeling warm. I did not earn this warmth. This is warmth that comes as the reward for surviving winter. I did not complain, but I felt jipped when I put away my winter boots and coat the other day. Maybe next year we can try again.
We get to keep trying. Perfection is pretty far away these days. The sun helps us forget. The warmth and days spent outside help us brush away the cobwebs and reexamine what was covered in shadows for months, years, and decades. We learn to play nice and then we get stung. Our old hurts rising to the surface red and inflamed while we ignore what just happened in the present moment. Sometimes the wounds heal and sometimes someone hands us a band-aid that is just the right size. We carry on.