Friday, February 15, 2019

a little spring

Yesterday was Valentines Day, and J arrived at my door for our regular sleepover date with a bundle of the lushest, most heavenly smelling pink and ivory roses. I keep smelling them today and thinking about how much flowers of any kind have a strange power to lift my mood.  That one bleak winter two decades ago,  where all I did was sit in the dark and cry in my apartment, I was saved by a trip to the Lincoln Park Conservatory (or at least it seemed like it) where everything was pink and white and lavender.   I remember it only because I kept taking photos with a disposable camera and later developed them and think of it every time I come across one.

Of course,  I have no idea if it actually was the conservatory or just those things coincided, but I do wonder. It had been a bleak start to a year--stressed about my grad classes, about what to do after grad school (which was intended to be teaching, but by then knew that wasn't really my thing.) About money and a million other little hobgoblins I'm sure.  My anxiety, which is usually manageable without treatment went full blown and turned into depression for a couple months.  But by Valentines Day and that trip to the zoo and the to see the flowers with my parents, I was feeling infinitely better.

I've discussed with a friend whether or not summer or winter is more prone to random sadnesses and depression, since for  me, even actual legitimate reasons for being sad are harder to get too down about when the world is green and the weather mild. In winter, whatever seems bad exacerbated by the world outside being basically inhospitable to life.  Everything is harder (this week's icy nearly unwalkable sidewalks being a perfect example), When things are grey and bleak and bare, I feel similar in mindset.  My friend, on the other hand, hates how summer makes you feel like you should be happy and ebullient and it's extra tragic you're not.

Regardless, it's been a rough winter where I'm feeling it a little more even than usual. A little more like circling the drain. It comes and goes, but it does feel a little less hopeless now that the days are longer and spring is a little more in sight.  And flowers, even roses and their shortest of lifespans,  can make a huge difference sitting there on my table and smelling gloriously like summer for as long as they can....

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