No one dies in the spring, with or without the rain. That’s what I think when I come onto our porch and notice the puddles of plum blossoms, white, faint pink petals nestled into the corners of the stairs. Like living confetti.
I catch one in my palm, as it glides down to the ground.
The petals are open like outstretched arms that say, “catch me, hold me, hold on.”
This reminds me to call the florist in my hometown and send my parents some flowers, scented ones like star aster or lily to fill up the house, stand in for me, take up the space between the ticks and tocks of the grandfather clock. The long afternoons. The even longer nights. So silent we can hear the 120-year-old house sigh, as she tries still to settle in and get comfortable. While the rest of us hold our breaths.
How can someone die in the spring? The riot of rebirth, newness, promise all around.
The long dark winter would have been better. Black ice, folding within, brittle broken grass, the loose thread of the worn-down bedsheets, if he pulls it, it keeps unraveling, leaving its cradled exposed, open, submitting to exhale the last time.
Easter is in the spring. If I believed in Jesus and were young again, we would be getting our picture taken in front of the white blossoming crab apple tree at the end of the drive, all the apples nestled in rows, draped over each other, with the blossom bursting out their bottoms, the tiny trumpet of a pestle punching through to say, I made it. I’m still here. We would be sandwiched together in our dresses, shirts and ties, black patent shoes and tights, smiling. Appreciating the moment but not understanding the significance that it would never be the same. That this was the good time. To see it takes time.
I walk around to the backyard and kick at the clumps of camellia blossoms, scattered along the path. They are pink like the baby’s flushed cheeks, the blood underneath that skin finding its way for the first time, moving, passing through the heart that is learning what love is. The camellia tree is the same tree that he trimmed high up on a ladder that he shouldn’t have ascended, against doctor’s orders. The blossoms are in all stages of their lives. Dreaming of opening, opening, open, closing, closed, gone.
Do they know that no one should die in the spring?