It happens every year. All of a sudden the sun is shining, it’s 75 degrees, and everything in my closet is black, gray or brown wool, and the entryway is cluttered with boots and ice cleats, and a basket overflows with mittens, wool hats and scarves. At some point, I realize I look ridiculous in my furry boots, when everyone else at the grocery store is wearing flip-flops. Time for the bi-annual change-over in the closet which is not an easy task. It takes a proper mood, also not easily come by. One must be feeling totally centered and One With The Universe. There can be no hint of nostalgia or melancholy for life long gone. There can only be brutal honesty, admitting that you probably never looked good in that outfit years and years ago, and you most certainly do not now. You must practice kindness to yourself as you face the truth that you were delusional to buy this or that, as evidenced by the tags still hanging on the sleeve.
Over the week-end, I cleared out my closet, and while I was not especially ruthless, there was one big Goodwill bag, and a box full of beautiful high heels, which I’ve saved for years. Rita and I, in our perpetual conversations about how we need to get rid of our stuff, talked about shoes the other day, and she pointed out that elderly women look so rickety and unstable in high heels. That was all I needed to box them up and take them over to Joy. Now, I am taking great delight in all the lovely spring colors hanging in my closet. The morning sunshine washes over them and it looks like a palette of new paint colors, and while many of them will wind up in a Goodwill bag come Fall, I’m enjoying new delusions of wearing floral summer dresses and flowers in my hair.
Don has been cleaning windows on these sun-filled days, and the bright light illuminates all the things that have been hidden in low winter light. Under the ‘extravagant sky’, I’ve thrown open the shutters, washed tongue-and-grove wainscoting, and tops of door frames. Well, I did that for one day. Now, it’s cloudy and closed in again, and rain drips off the new leaves, and I might light a fire, and return to my novel, and settle back down into my nest. It’s best for me to slowly ease into this changing season.
You were the one for skylights. I opposed
Cutting into the seasoned tongue-and-groove
Of pitch pine. I liked it low and closed,
Its claustrophobic, nest-up-in-the-roof
Effect. I liked the snuff-dry feeling,
The perfect, trunk-lid fit of the old ceiling.
Under there, it was all hutch and hatch.
The blue slates kept the heat like midnight thatch.
But when the slates came off, extravagant
Sky entered and held surprise wide open.
For days I felt like an inhabitant
Of that house where the man sick of the palsy
Was lowered through the roof, had his sins forgiven,
Was healed, took up his bed and walked away.