Sunday, April 02, 2006

Death...and Life

Outside the birds are chirping, the snow is almost gone and there is that scent in the air, hard to describe but we all know what it is: The scent of new life emerging as winter fades. The days are getting longer, the air is warmer.

It is spring.

Not just technically. The first official day of spring came and went almost unnoticed. Temperatures plummeted and the ground wasn’t merely blanketed with snow but buried under three comforters and a thick duvet.

Winter’s way of reminding us that she wasn’t leaving quietly this year.

Slowly, subtly, spring has warmed the earth with her embrace, and it is a welcome one.

There is just something about the scent in the air.

Spring’s renewal of life is more than nature’s way of painting the trees and ground with welcome colour after the bleak winter’s passing. It is an external manifestation that has an internal impact. Spring’s renewal of life brings revival to the soul.

This is the time of year I always feel positive. How can one not, when the cat’s tails are twitching as they watch the birds flitter past the windows? When the blossoms return to the trees and you discover part of your fledgling garden from the year before has survived the winter?

I have always loved nature, and always loved this time of year. Fall is actually my favourite time of year, but spring is a close rival. It isn’t too hot, it isn’t too cold, and shedding thick winter coats and sweaters seems to make me feel like I’m casting off the burdens I’ve carried through the cold months.

Each season has her own beauty. Has her own special magic that I enjoy for a time.

The leaves are falling through my reverie
They waltz like fire on the autumn breeze
I’m walking alone, the wind in the trees up above
Crying with the voice of the ghost of love*

I am haunted by the wonder of fall.

But today, I am rejuvenated by the miracle of spring.

*Rawlins Cross The Ghost of Love from the album “Reel and Roll”
Unfortunately, Rawlins Cross split up a few years ago. This was a brilliant East Coast band that incorporated bagpipes, edgy lyrics and played a hell of a live show. Every song used at my wedding came from a Rawlins Cross album, and at my funeral, this shall play:

Long night.
So this is it what it all comes to
Long night
This is what we all go through
Long night
Another friend is gone
Long night
Leaving us to carry on

Death is a mighty uniter
The defeat that comes to every fighter
Live on, the dawn will be brighter
Live on, live on, live on

That may seem a bit morbid. But in reality the one thing we all – male, female, old, young, sick, healthy, rich, poor, Caucasian, Asian or otherwise – live with is the knowledge that one day we will die.

I know of no better reason to shrug off the burdens of the day and embrace life, cherish the moments you have with the ones you love, forsake pursuing riches to take a chance on your dreams.

Well, and as a mystery writer, of course I'm interested in death...

But that’s the spirit of hope that spring inspires in me. I am reminded of death in what moldy leaves have been revealed with the receding snow.

Removing the decaying foliage and seeing the green shoots sprout from the soil, I am also reminded that there is life.

And that’s something to celebrate.

* See everyone. I can do a nice post. Occasionally. Come back tomorrow for talk about something twisted, perverted or controversial, because it's like the need to wear a dress to Sunday school - the minute class is over I'm ripping it off. So nicey nice won't last long.


Bernita said...

Oh,I highly approve of that elegy.
It's exquisite.

Erik Ivan James said...

Refreshing, Samdra. But then, you always are.

JamesO said...

I wish I'd gone to Sunday School with you, Sandra. It would have been worth sitting through the tedium for the floorshow afterwards;}#

Sandra Ruttan said...

Bernita, glad you like it - it's always spoken to me.

Erik, you're so sweet. And nobody knows I pay you to say all these nice things. (Just kidding).

James, ha ha! I'm afraid there isn't much of a show these days. I never even get dressed for Sunday School.

Boy Kim said...

Which Sunday School do you attend? I'm there next week.

Sandra Ruttan said...

The Divine King-Sized Bed For Sleep-ins

See you there, if you can get past evilkev.

Gabriele C. said...

Strange enough, spring tends to make me moody and melancholical. Moreso than autumn.

But I still planted some primroses and violets on my balcony.

Evel said...

That scent? Is thawing dog poo.

For The Trees said...

Somehow I've wondered - for several years now - about man and his life. And the turn of seasons. For the horse has been domesticated for many, many years, and all winter long horses eat. And poop. And stalls are mucked out. And it's piled up somewhere. Plus all the poop that's NOT piled up, but left to be smashed underfoot in the street.

And then Spring hits. The Big Thaw. And all that poop begins to decompose. I always wondered just how badly the streets reeked - especially in the East like New York - where horses were the norm for transportation. Or out West, even, where horses were ubiquitous.

My God. Flowers alone couldn't have held a candle to the stench.

But that's just my approach to Winter's Death.

Sandra Ruttan said...

I'm sure people back then were just used to it.

Or they all had permanently wrinkled noses.

But yeah, I live near farms - must've really stunk.