It is Spring here in the South.
And for the first time in the 5 and a half years that I have been here, I am actually seeing the trees this year. I see them.
For the first time in 5 and a half years, I can see Spring.
Rows and rows of dogwood blooming all at once – white, pink flowers on intricate branches, seemingly everywhere! And then cherry blossoms – pink sprinkles of cotton candy in the trees… as we go on our walks or drive through the city, I point them out to my little ones: ”girls, girls, look!” I exclaim to them in Armenian. ”Look! Look at the flowers everywhere! Karoun e! Spring has come!” My little ones look at the greenery wide-eyed with wonder, gather up little flowers with their tiny, chubby hands… we take them home and put them in little jars filled with water and decorate the kitchen with Spring.
And the next day, we do the same thing. I am overwhelmed – yes! – I am quite literally overwhelmed by the beauty all around me. I am in awe, like a child, like my children. But for the very first time.
This is the first year that I feel settled here in this city.
This the first time that I have actually, really noticed the dogwood.
In the past, I would have compared this city to my own, to the place of my birth, where Spring is like a symphony, where the tree lined streets are exploding, overflowing with blossoms. The branches there are heavy laden with blossoms, they almost tip over… like the beauty they are carrying is too much for them. And the air is fresh and clean and the warm winds begin, albeit very slowly, to bring new light to our rain soaked land. I would have compared my new home to the only home I had known and I would have felt discontent. I would have felt empty. Lost.
And when I first arrived in this sun drenched land, I longed for home. Almost every single day. Almost every single day for that first year.
This wasn’t home. I knew no one besides my husband. Everyone seemed so comfortable in their own neat circles. How could I feel at home in a place where I had to start over? One wise friend of my husband’s told me it took her 5 years to feel at home in this city. I remember so vividly when she shared that with me. 5 years? 5?! That seemed like one too many years. I felt sick and anxious. So it would take me 5 years to make friends, to know the streets, to feel peace, to not feel so lost and awkward…? I wept that night. And for many nights after that…
5 years have come. 5 years have been full of babies and food and laundry and music and songs and dancing and reading and writing and new friends and joy and loss and pain and elation and praying and becoming more one with my beloved. 5 year have passed.
And she was right.
For some reason, this is the first year that I have noticed Spring in this city. I weep with joy as I realize this in my heart.
It is Spring here in the sun drenched South.
And I am seeing it now.
For the very first time.