Spring: this is the season I thought I’d quit missing him, graduate into a steady state. All the birdsong, native honey bees, chatter of the hummingbird clutches filling the open spaces that grief creates in its wake. The jonquils and daffodils on a verdant hillside. Purple violets sneaking out even in the dappled shade. There’s so much life. The earth smells different than she did just a month ago. Damp, working hard. An opportunity to throw open the windows, sweep the dust out of the darkened corners, let the light in.
Coming out of that season of turning inward, winter, the darkest night. The crispness hitting the inside of my nose, temporarily numbing my ability to sense. The long stretch of holidays, reminiscing of rich meals around the long table, adding logs to the fire, Thanksgivings and long snow days gone by, in sepia tones, in memories, on the pages of fading photo albums.
The Japanese language has 72 microseasons, based on the natural world. Ice thickening on streams. Deer shed antlers. Cold sets in. These are all the times where it feels natural to long for something or someone. The darkness creating a vacuum to draw out all those soul stirrings, mournful cries, the mood matching the sky.
Oh, and of course autumn too. I know I’d always be missing him then. Crickets chirp around the door. The first frost, dew glistening on grass. Geese traveling south. Football Friday nights, a low roar of the crowd just up the block. Apple cider and apple picking the day before. Cheeks flushed. Leaves circling to the ground, in their final dramatic act of letting go, a reminder to me, over and over as they spin and swirl down to the ground, of what I will now forever more be letting go of.
And summer of course. I knew I’d always miss him in summer. The cicadas. Running through the sprinkler that he’d set up in the lawn. The dusky evenings stretch on. Air is humid. Thunderstorms roll through and we huddle under the wraparound porch admiring how the raindrops roll off the tall irises. Lightning bugs and swallowtails. Lucky to catch the tailend of a monarch migration south. We stand shoulder to shoulder in awe.
And then we’re back to spring. Everything changes, nothing changes.