Early winter morning

It is cold here, most days are overcast. Often it rains. But the showers are intense and quick to end, and the sunshine returns within minutes. That is the kind of rain I like. It rejuvinates without overwhelming. The days are getting longer and warmer. The winter ebbs, yielding to the early spring. All is as should be.

I’m up too early, its getting to morning, and its cold. I prepare tea and cup the mug in my hands, seeking temporary warmth. For lack of something better to do so early on a Saturday morning, I stare out of the glass panels. The ground is wet, as is the grass. Grass always seems greener to me when it is wet. The sun is weak as a newborn. The winter-shorn trees, rooted in the same soil as azhealeas, camillias and rhododendrons, feel anachronistic, their bareness in stark contrast with the  zeal of the magnificent displays put forth by the latter.  My neighbor has a cherry blossom. I experience cherry-blossom envy. A giant, pink magnolia is in full bloom on my side of the fence, as if to mitigate my feelings of deprivation.  Just looking at the magnificence of it fills me with undescribable pleasure. I try to remember the transience of this rented accomodation. I long to be in the backyard of my own home, knowing I will never be able to afford a home of my own again. The mind struggles against acknowledging the inevitabilty and permanence of homelessness, my long time friend – the desperate ego – conjuring defenses in order to protect me from associated grief. Defenselessly, I observe the psychic defenses. “Que sera sera,” I softly speak the words aloud, as if to a child, in a attempt to comfort and calm the desperation felt by the ego. She knows me so well, and tries so hard. Too hard sometimes.

My gaze wanders to a supine deciduous tree standing next to the tall camilia bush. It is bare, and wiry, stripped off its dignity, its leaves. I don’t know what kind of tree it is – the absence of leaves makes the tree remarkably unremarkable. Yet the contrast calls for attention. Again and again, the word “rooted” cycles thru my mind and the word is filled with an unsavory taste. If the deciduous tree could move itself, and hibernate in a burrow like a rabbit, or a bear does,  I could be free to enjoy the blooms without the juxtaposed starkness of the bare tree.

The azheleas are already showing signs of wearing out. The camillias have more lasting power, but both the camillias and the rhodedendrons will be gone by the time the tree gets its leaves back and assumes a presentable personna. Magnolias ? They’re magnifient right now- but only for 2 weeks or so in a year. My mind experiences the trauma of the inevitable limitation – the blooms are and will remain staggered. That I will never see all the beauty of this garden at the same time. I feel helplessly impotent in the face of  the flow.

Rooted and stark, juxtaposed against the beauty of rhodadendrons ! Staggered beauty. Isn’t that life though? Spikes of happiness in a sea of suffering called existance ? If only we could move all our sufferings to a burrow, and peek in once in a while, we would not be faced with them on a daily basis ! If only everything could work out – all at once – so we could be without even a single worry for some time at least. We could then be free to enjoy the beauty of our lives to the fullest.

Instead, life blooms in bits and pieces. As does misery and suffering. Coexisting. While I pine for unspoilt perfection.

I can’t wait for the trees to leaf. Perhaps the burdens imposed by the starkess of the tree will lift, or beome lighter, then. And leaf they will. And just as surely, the blossoms will end for the season. The bare deprivation of the tree is as transient as the abundance of the blooms on the shrubs.

The inetnsity of cold finally crosses the threshold of my tolerance. I walk over, and turn the heat pump on.

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