The perfect musical accompaniment to this post? Vivaldi’s “Spring,” of course! I always loved it, but never appreciated how perfectly he embodied its ebullience and glee in sound…
The Romanian word for spring is “Primavara” – literally, ‘first summer.” So spring is the welcome mat for the heat and humidity that is to come and I am sad to realize how short this beautiful pause will turn out to be. In the last few days I can feel the weight of the pending season bearing down on me; I have already broken into a sweat crammed into a rutiera with no possibility of a vent – much less a window! – being opened while stoic Moldovans continue to wear the leather jackets and stylish blazers that signal the recent passing of winter. You have to hand it to them – Moldovans will sacrifice many degrees of comfort in order to keep the ensemble they have carefully constructed intact. While I, on the other hand, am beginning to draw the sidelong glances and whispered comments that my short-sleeved t-shirts, workout pants, and Five Finger shoes inevitably garner.
(At this point in my life, I just can’t bring myself to bow to the dictates of fashion any more. I have realized that being relaxed and comfortable goes a long way towards making my mood brighter and my resilience stronger. I can accept the role of the weird American clown with grace and alacrity….)
Meanwhile, the trees and flowers are gloriously, abundantly abloom and the birds gift me a cheerful chorus from the boughs outside my window. Everything is fresh and clean and radiantly new. More butterflies than I can remember seeing since my childhood flit through the balmy air. People stroll down the street, arm in arm, smiling, greeting each other, thawing out. Children whizz down the lane on bicycles, kicking up dust and laughter. Puppies, calves, baby goats abound.
Everything feels possible again. I have sudden reserves of energy that keep me just on the edge of skipping (I can only take the clown act so far) and wrapping my arms around passing strangers. There are moments when tears actually flood up from a mysterious sense of grace – that is how wholly mere warmth and genesis can affect my outlook on life.
One of the things I had anticipated from my Peace Corps service was finally living somewhere I could experience the seasonal cycle; Moldova has exceeded my expectations. To feel in your bones the world coming live while the splendor plays out around you – it is an amazing gift of which I am deeply, profoundly appreciative. California is exceptionally beautiful, but its garb has nothing to approach these seasonal extremes.
I am a lucky soul.