Thursday, May 18, 2006

Spring is in the air

I can't remember the last time I loved spring this much. Maybe it's because I'm actually out in it, smelling the new blooms, feeling the fresh air and cool spring rain, instead of stuffed into a cubicle wanting to rip my eyes out. For weeks now I have been walking dogs, and I'll randomly smell lilacs, and I look all around but there are no lilacs to be seen. I thought maybe I was going nuts until about a week ago when all the lilacs started to bloom, and I saw that all those pointy, cold looking trees in the neighborhoods I frequent are actually beautiful bushes that were just waiting to explode in bloom.

When I was in elementary school, I used to walk to school every day. On the corner right before we reached the school, the house had a giant lilac tree, and people would always pull off blooms as they passed by to bring home to their moms. It became quite an epidemic until one day, when I was in the first grade, there was a school-wide warning issued to leave the damn tree alone already. Coincidentally, we also had a neighbor with a big giant lilac tree. This neighbor loved me - she gave me cheese cloth once when I caught a butterfly and wanted to keep it in a jar, and she also paid me $10 one week to collect their mail while they were away. Anyway, this neighbor offered me to cut off some of the lilac blooms. So, I took some for my mummy, and some for my nanny, and some for my teacher. My teacher was Soeur Margot, and although she was a nun, she didn't wear a habit since I went to regular public school and religion is not allowed in public school. However, even without the habit, she was scary as hell - on more than one occasion she crossed the line with regards to disciplining students, and was also the source of my best friend's agonizing stomach aches, which kept her home from school so much she almost had to repeat first grade.

Anyhow, so I brought some lilacs for my teacher. I vividly remember how proud I was to give them to her, and how lovely they smelled. I also vividly remember the feeling of surprise and hurt when she berated me in front of everyone for taking lilacs from the house beside our school. I think this is the moment when my inability to hold onto my shit when I'm upset officially engrained itself as standard behavior on my part.

I'm glad that I gave up my ability to keep composure, but was able to keep my love for the smell of lilacs.

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