Saturday, April 20, 2013

What's going on in Jersey

Spring is slower to arrive here than in Portland, but it's finally here.

I have been writing, but neither editing nor posting, for the past three weeks that I have been in New Jersey. The immediate things happening are not what I want to write about on this blog, as they are not that uplifting. They are either depressing or they are wedding planning, which often veers toward aggravating. I'm drafting something about the latter, and hope to post it later this week.

I left a sunny Portland spring, which arrived almost too early for my liking, temperatures reaching the low sixties before the calendar reached March. I landed in New Jersey's persistent, persevering end of winter. It was my first return to my home state since Sandy. I returned to bare trees, cold temperatures, and signs of the storm's wreckage, such as broken fences, toppled billboards still lying next to the road, and the absence of trees where my memory insisted they should be.

This absence of trees allows the sun to visit the backyard, where a garden might be able to soon thrive. The mornings are still cold, but spring's warmth, sun, and flowers are here. In Portland, spring suddenly arrives as early as late February, flowers appearing on the trees and ground with speed that is thrilling yet almost exhausting. And flowers were never really absent from that landscape; the winter rarely reached freezing, the grass never turned dry brown, and cold-weather perennials such as hellebore bloomed constantly. Here, I have to wait. Here, I have time to study the subtle red flowers of maple trees and the succession of spring ephemerals. Whereas violets have had a long season of bloom in Portland, in my parents' backyard, they will not appear until May, after the blue Siberian squills, which only bloom in April, have finished and faded to return next year, nearly always in time for my birthday.

I finished reading Daniel Deronda. I finished several knitting projects and started a few more. I have taken advantage of the availability of Northeast microbrewery beers.

More later!

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