This is going to be uncharacteristically brief as we have reached that important seasonal milestone, the end of the semester. I teach college English, among my other unfortunate vices. So here’s a recording of pioneering jazz singer Maxine Sullivan’s version of “It Was a Lover and His Lass” from Twelfth Night, because Shakespeare. You’re welcome.
It’s going to be Beltane any minute now, and while my friends in more northern climes are grumping about when is spring going to get here, anyway? the birds, bees, frogs and other denizens of Pine Lake have definitely gotten the memo. The dogwoods have already bloomed and dropped their petals and the daffodils are long gone, but the wildflowers in our front yard are blooming with enthusiasm. The squirrels are chasing each other round and round. There is toadsong in the evenings, and the bullfrogs are out on the lake verges at all hours of the day and night, sounding like ents clearing their throats. Burarum.
It is that magical and fleeting time in Georgia between “too cold and rainy” and “too damn hot, also mosquitoes.” One can leave one’s window open without fear of being chewed upon by tiny flying vampires, so I did. There is something lovely, simultaneously restful and wild, about listening to the night calls of bird and beast, the wind sighing through the trees, and the rushing water of a nearby creek as you go to sleep. Even better when it’s from the comfort of your own bed rather than the lumpy and unyielding floor of a tent. My heart is still that of the feral elfin girl who used to run all day through the woods and dance around the fire all night, leaves and flowers tangled in my hair…but my ass is middle-aged. I like to think of this time of life as one of integration, where you reach some kind of balance after the madness of adolescence, the flailing of your twenties, and the slogging of being thirty-something. When you’re twenty-five, you are who your circumstances have made; at forty-five, you are who you have made yourself. With any luck, you know and like who that is. And if not…well, there’s still time.