Coming home to spring

by Steve Brock on March 22, 2012

This last week, I had two back-to-back trips. Different clients, different parts of the country, each flight leaving so early in the morning that a chart of my circadian rhythms would have resembled a seismometer readout during The Big One.

But now I am home. Thus, I should be happy. And somewhere, deep inside of me, I’m sure that I am. But I’m troubled by one small detail.

In the few days since I left home, the world has changed.

In the short while since I left, spring has arrived or is at least inching its way into our garden. I pull into my driveway and see the first hint of plum blossoms. The forsythia ekes out its speckling of yellow. A few camellia blooms (see photo) make a brave show of it. Even the moss in our grass that I’ve pondered now for several weeks seems bittersweet, glowing brightly even as it seems to realize its days are numbered.

The problem is, I am not ready for spring.

I come home tired and, due to too many time zones, too little sleep and too much “on” I can’t appreciate what would normally delight me.

I tell myself it’s because we had, as did most of you, one of the mildest winters in memory. Thus, spring seems like winning your March Madness bracket by selecting your teams by accident: It feels just a tad undeserved.

But that’s not the real reason I’m not ready for spring.

I’m not ready because everything right now overwhelms me. You could tell me that your Oreo cookie didn’t twist open evenly and I might start crying. You could ask me for $1 and I might give you $10 simply because the extra zero wouldn’t register (but don’t bother testing that one…). If you told me I had to get back on another plane right now, I wouldn’t scream or threaten you with bodily harm. I’d likely just lower my head and sigh.

Travel wears us out. When you travel for work, you force yourself to be up. But when that blessed moment of return occurs, maintaining that same level of focus and energy feels like trying to hold water in your arms.

I love to travel but when spring no longer seems like a long awaited gift, I know that travel has taken a toll and I have forgotten the bigger picture of my life. So I can choose to complain about the drain and toil of travel – and it is real – or I can remember a quote from an aged saint of a woman who had walked closely with God all her life. When asked one day how she was, she replied:

“I am better than I feel.”

And so am I.

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