CORNER WINDOW by Jeff Hartzer
#004: April, 2007
“Is everybody in? The ceremony is about to begin ... Wake Up!” Rock Poet Jim Morrison speaks these words to open his album An American Prayer. More so than any other month, April seems to shout at us to AWAKE. It is a month for breaking out of our winter shells. For taking our own private pilgrimages. For leaving behind the teevee sets and going outdoors. (Yes, it is okay to record those last nine episodes of “The Sopranos” to watch at your leisure after you get outside to soak in the beauty of Spring.)
After living through the deaths of my parents and others these last few years, I have come to truly have a better understanding of the simple fact that each day of our lives we really are either living or dying. When I was born, I was very premature and weak. I underwent much medical intervention and doctors determined I suffered a “failure to thrive.” I have seen this term coming up lately for both the elderly and the depressed, for those who seem to have given up on their lives. I realize this is a heavy duty topic for most, but perhaps Spring is a time when, as we witness plants popping out of the soil, we also begin to see our own daily lives as either ones of joy and growth or of loss and regret. And perhaps as both at times.
It is never too late to decide that you want to live and move forwartd. Spring is scary in that it forces us to have more daylight to witness our efforts at life. Now there is more daylight forcing us to get to know a bit better our next-door neighbors, who have been holed up all Winter. In the brightening light of Spring we look more clearly at whatever is coming for us in our private worlds and on our worldwide political and world-weary doorsteps.
Awake! The long period of literal and metaphorical “road construction” may soon be over on our South Valley’s main road, Isleta Boulevard. Surely more orange barrels will follow, but there is a need to celebrate soon a sense of completion in our lives here in the South Valley. It may not be here quite yet, but there’s a light at the end of the roadwork, at least. We are in the midst of an extended Spring Break in which the soil is opening with new life, the acequias are flowing again, and the leaves are coming back to the bare trees. Life is budding out. For those who like to dwell in their personal caves of Winter, this is the scariest time of the year. We must come out to play, to be seen, and to grow. There is one thing to be wary of, however. Growth that is too fast can cause a plant to shoot forth and then wilt in the strong winds of the season. Amidst our springtime exhuberances we should not forget that high desert mantra, “Gusty Winds May Exist.”
Maybe it is okay, then, to watch a bit of teevee, to reserve some time to be not so “out there” on parade. There are a couple months more of “homework” before Summer and there are always inside jobs to do. There are stars to look at at night and the possibility of a frost or two left before the dry heat comes on strong. There will be days to turn your volume down and read a good book or play a solid video game indoors. Certainly, April showers will call for an umbrella to hide under on occasion. Our dogs, cats, and bunnies always enjoy curling up for a nap. Why not you, too?
Like the e e cumming’s poem says: “in JUST- spring ... when the world is mud-luscious and eddieandbill come running from marbles and piracies and it's spring when the world is puddle-wonderful and bettyandisbel come dancing from hop-scotch and jump-rope and it's spring” is indeed a good time to be AWAKE, to THRIVE. Happy Bunny Hopping.
Jeff Hartzer © 2007