The First of Spring

The sky is heavy and gray. My chest is full of the same; cold, damp, clouds. My limbs ache, my heart feels clenched, my stomach flops. Each foot is ten thousand pounds pressed down into paved bricks. My seat barely touches the cold, wooden slats of the bench. Warmth shoots through my hands from the beige and green paper cup, bittersweet steam of coffee rising to my stopped nose and fogged head.

The plaza is a water globe. Small snowflakes like flecks of glitter flutter around everything and settle to the ground, where they instantly disappear. The bronze form of Wisdom, bare-chested and unmoved by the chill in the air, offers me her cold, familiar gaze. I see your eyes; sad, large, blue, as if they are still right in front of mine; green, burning, wet.

A lump closes around my throat as I blink back tears and swallow the coffee in search of the familiar; comfort, alertness, heat. I wish the soft feeling of my insides warming were from your arms around me; our breath deep, slow, gentle. I imagine loosening all of the knots in your neck and back where I know you are carrying tension now, half a mile away, at home. I inhale the stinging, wet, cold and see it as taking in all of your pain, removing it from you, replacing it with joy and the easy, even sun that should have greeted us today.

Today; all of the days before have worked up to this. Crocuses and snowdrops pop, pop, popped from the mud and a few pink cherry blossoms arrived by surprise. There was promise in the air and in our progress and grounding efforts from our roots. Now the twine that bound us in a perfect sphere unraveled, unrolling uncontrollably and left in an undecipherable mess. Azaleas fell limp under the weight of frost and we were left to face winter again — slippery, uncertain.

We are at the end of our rope and now is the time for untangling. The slow process begins with no knowing where it goes or how to get to the opposite end of the string on the other side. We want the sun back, but don’t know where to find it again; we need Equinox and equal footing.

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