Wednesday's Words, by Morgan Ashbury

I can recall so many springs in years past, when it seemed to take forever for the trees to bud. Every morning as April bled into May would find me looking out the windows, wondering when was I ever going to see green on those bare, brown sticks again?

In truth it doesn’t take long, and that was brought home to me this spring.

When we left home for New Orleans on May 11th, there were no leaves anywhere, and only a few bits of green to be seen on a few trees. Our flowers were all green leaves, with only one or two tightly enfolded buds. I knew by the calendar that it was spring, and we did have a young friend of ours come and mow our lawn once, but despite that, it didn’t feel like spring.

When we returned home 7 days later—just this past Sunday—the season of rebirth was in full bloom.

The maple trees across the street are covered in green, and one of them in red, leaves. Our walnut tree, the last to get its leaves, has begun the process, and our flowers! Oh, they are splendid this year. We have tulips and narcissi and daffodils, and some hyacinths too.

It’s interesting the way our own perception of things alters our reality, especially when it comes to time. When we were kids, time seemed to stretch forever. The summer break from school felt so much longer than just two months. Then as we began to grow older, time moved a bit faster, or so it appeared. When we get to the September of our lives, the days and weeks and months begin to travel at light speed.

And all of that is just perception.

Our perceptions have a hand in how we view everything around us, especially time. For example, driving to a destination always seems to take longer than driving home from it. Anticipation of a vacation or an event always feels as if it lasts longer than the sense we get after it’s over. As I write these words it is Tuesday morning, and I have been in my house not even forty-eight hours yet. But New Orleans seems so long ago already.

Usually when I travel to RT, I’m so busy once I get there, I don`t have time to stop and smell the roses.  This time, I used my olfactory senses to the extreme.  I was delighted that the city I finally was able to do that in was New Orleans—a city near the top of my bucket list.

We took a double-decker bus tour, and we strolled down Decatur Street. [Well, my beloved and our friend strolled, I “rolled” in the scooter I rented]. We toured the French Market and we stopped at Cafe du Monde for beignets. I didn’t go down Bourbon Street, because my husband told me it would be rough going, and it wasn’t the same place it was in decades past.

I decided to let my perception of that iconic stretch of pavement live.

There was a difference, too, coming home this time which I know really is just a case of my perceptions at work. Every other time before now, when we have gone away for a week, my daughter has moved into our house for the duration, and the last few times complete with her four puppies. Last year, when we went to Kansas City in May, it was our Tuffy’s first experience of both of us being gone for a week. He was still little, not yet six months old and handled the separation well—mostly because he had his “sister” and his buddies at his house.

This time, since she is in a larger place, she took our dog to her house and didn’t stay here in at all. She stopped in every day to see to the cat. But that was it.

And this time, upon my return, it didn’t take me days to feel like I was back in my own home. I had that sense almost immediately.

You might think that’s all in my head and I would have to agree with you. Because that is, after all, where my perceptions live.



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