Discover more from noticements
I must be part plant, because I bloom in the springtime. The sun returns, the warmth returns, and a fizzy joy—I feel it in my chest. My headaches clear. My back straightens. While everyone around me is sneezing from the pollen, I breathe it in, it gives me life. I am reproducing. My cells are multiplying. My great-grandfather was a magnolia saucer. The sun is my caffeine.
It feels more wonderful than normal this year, but perhaps it always feels this way. After a rough winter, a calm spring feels like the first calm spring. Forget last year’s spring. This year. This year, the cherry blossoms stayed in full bloom for two full weeks. This year, I learned about all the flowering trees you can eat. Redbuds, magnolias, violets. I’ve been missing my belated honey locusts, but the redbud makes a nice snack to tide me over, and furthermore, they have no need for branches or twigs; these purple bursts are everywhere, a glorious infestation. Now when I walk around, drinking in the sights, I’m eating it, too. Flowers. Yum. And I learned which wildflowers are invasive, so feel no remorse about mercilessly picking them from Rock Creek Park. I’m nibbling and gathering, nibbling and gathering, and it feels like the right thing to do this spring. Even my sad burgundy ficus, teetering on the verge of death for months, has sprung back to life, with five new leaves in two days. I cut my hair, so the curls are extra-springy again. Spring, you understand? It’s back. Everything is back. The world has returned.
I went for a walk the other evening with a flowery dress and a flowery backpack. Luckily, it was a chilly evening, so I put on thick tights. I say luckily because if you’ve ever worn a short dress with a backpack you might be understandably concerned.
Do you know the history of the word “bloomers”? Way back when, women had to wear complicated and harmful undergarments, a woman named Amelia Bloomer said, down with the corsets, on with the bloomers. Long underwear that reached the ground, well below the overskirt. Underwear for the eyes. Free, unrestrictive underwear, loose and bifurcated! They called it the Bloomer dress, and then, and now, the bloomers. And then, you would put the bloomers on display, show off the undergarments below the skirt, a political act, and now…?
How many people saw before I noticed? I was crossing a bridge; a road over a road; could they see it from the side, could they see it from below? How many mourning doves cooed at me? How many woodpeckers poked holes in the towering trees? And the redbuds, did they laugh in purple bursts? Could the moon see it from space? I mooned the moon, but just one cheek. A half-moon. Half-moon: my second-favorite yoga pose. My first favorite is the handstand, because I like being upside down. Like when I get Seth to help me do a backflip. Once, at a wedding, I wore a medium-length dress. Not a short dress, but not a long one. Could I backflip in safety? Would Seth’s arm keep my dress closed? In a private clearing in the woods near the wedding, Seth and I tested it with a trusted friend. Nope. She saw everything. She saw the moon.
In the 1850s, it was subversive to wear your undergarments as outergarments. Now? I don’t know. My blue tights were thick, Seth told me later, so thick they looked like leggings. Almost. A blue moon is still a moon. Does the moon change how lovely I felt on that walk? Should I be retroactively embarrassed? Is it possible to be embarrassed if you don’t know you should be? And who was there to see? I’ve lived here for ten years but can strut the streets without recognizing a soul. When I first moved here, I discovered: there is freedom in anonymity.
A blue moon is a rare thing. A beautiful thing? I wish I thought more about the moon. Earth’s broken child. I wish I understood why a piece of the Earth can fail to become an Earth in miniature. Why are there no flowers on the moon? I’m sure there is a reason; I’ll look it up later. For now I will imagine the moon, blossoming, becoming full, becoming open, becoming.
A note on some recent publications:
You made it to the end! Now for the desired cat photos - it’s 'cat-in-window’ season: