It's the first day of Spring, the season of rebirth and renewal and all of that. It snowed here on Saturday and Mighty Reader worried about the daffodils, tulips and crocuses that are all just pushing bravely up into the world. On Monday morning the world was covered with frost and Mighty Reader took photographs of the ice-crusted parsley and thyme out back. Today it's gray and windy. March is not, as they say, going out like a lamb.
All of which I say to no point, and I don't have a metaphor to flog this morning. But it is the first day of Spring, and I for one am glad to say "so long" to Old Man Winter. Some day I'll wake up and the furnace won't have kicked on. That'll be nice.
In my writing world, Spring isn't necessarily signaling any sort of rebirth or renewal, alas. I'm currently reading Volume 6 of Tales of Chekhov in my attempt to finish the entire 13-volume set this year, and I'm also reading the Norton Anthology of Poetry in my ongoing search for English-language verse I both understand and like to read, and I've got a couple of non-fiction titles going as well. Business as usual for me. Mighty Reader and I just finished our two-person read along of Charles Dickens' Our Mutual Friend. Some time this summer, I think, I'll read Dostoevsky's Brothers Karamazov and maybe Mighty Reader will read along with me for that, too. I like it when we can talk about books in common. We have thousands of books in our house but sadly we don't have all that much overlap in our literary Venn diagram, but I'm working on it.
One other thing I'm doing lately is re-reading a couple of my old novels. I haven't looked at them for some time and I have, happily, forgotten a great deal about them so this is a chance to come at them as a stranger, sort of, and it's enlightening. I'm delighted with some of what I see and disappointed with other bits but all in all, it's encouraging. The delight encourages me to keep writing and the disappointment likewise, because it means that I've grown and am becoming a better writer year-by-year. The bad thing is that I have an urge to rewrite these old novels, but I won't. One of them's already been sold to a publisher and the other one is fine as it is; I'd do it differently today but it's not badly written so I just need to keep my fingers off it and move on with my life.
Which is, maybe, the metaphor for Spring I didn't know I was looking for. We rise from the soil, which isn't dead and dirty but is rich and earthy and full of nutrient and we come up into the air and light and we try again to be what we are as best as we can. Things germinate, gather strength and then burst forth to do what they're meant to do. I've been gathering my strength to write the second half of my novel-in-progress and to do a load of carpentry work in the upper floor of the house Mighty Reader and I have been finishing. What have you been waiting to burst forth and do?