You know what I like?
No. Strike that.
You know what I LOVE?
You know what I RELISH?
You know what I CELEBRATE?
You know what I want to embrace and squeeze until it squirms and gasps, “Too tight! Let go!”
I just love that we’re not the same. I adore our colorful world. I’m thrilled at all of the surprises and the “what huh’s?” and the ways that people burst out of boxes, leaving cardboard shrapnel behind because the people are too big, too much, too extraordinary to be squashed inside a small, confined space where someone else insists they belong.
Living requires us to be born over and over, and each birth is beautiful and terrifying, painful and freeing, messy and marvelous, mundane and a miracle. And, at each new phase of life, as a new heart or a new revelation or a new person lays there crying in the mess, gasping its first sweet breaths, the world pauses in both hope and in fear because we recognize that this new, strange squalling thing has the potential to change the world.
I’m not good at conforming.
Everyone who’s met me – including each of you who has so generously invested your time right here on this blog really getting to know my heart – is chuckling right now. Guffawing. Laughing your collective hineys off.
Because I’m just not good at conforming.
In fact, the older I become, the less interested I am in conformation and the more interested I am in transformation.
I’ve read the books. The parenting books that tell me the right way to raise a child. The marriage books that tell me the right way to honor my husband. The God books that tell me the right way to be a Jesus believer. The books that are willing to give me the Handbook for the Minutia of Life for which I sometimes so desperately long… at the small, small price of conforming to their Right Way.
In the end, I’ve taken to heart the bits and pieces that lift up my relationships as paramount and primary – the parts that exhort me to live out a fuller truth, a deeper justice, an unapologetic mercy, and, above all, an unreasonable love – and I discarded the rest. I’ve learned to trust myself, my gut, my God, my kids and my husband as bigger and smarter and better able to teach me than all of the experts combined. It turns out that living outside of my busted box is brighter and bolder and way, way more drafty and exposed than staying safely inside it. And the air out here? It’s amazing!
None of which was my point in writing this post.
But isn’t that funny?
How a post about the weirdness and joy of Spring can turn into a post about the weirdness and joy of Life?
I think so, too.
Spring arrived three days ago, and it brought to Oregon more snow than we’ve seen for a year.
our snow-covered house
It was different.
It was weird.
It was like Spring went away to college and came home sporting a purple mohawk, a butterfly tattoo and a nose ring.
the view from the path behind our house
“DO NOT think you can tell me what to do,” Spring said, loud and clear. “DO NOT think I’ll sit happy and pretty in your tight, stale box.”
the path behind our house
And I said, “Spring, I LOVE YOU. You’re a total freaking weirdo, and I think you’re FABULOUS.”
Because there was something about Spring arriving with her swagger and her don’t you DARE judge me attitude and then leaking her emotions all over Portland that just made me want to squeeze her tight.
I dressed my twin boys in their siblings’ hand-me-down snow gear.
Cai and Cael: special bro moment
They were, at first, TERRIBLY upset that we didn’t have two pink snowsuits for them to wear. There were a lot of “it’s not fair’s” from my boy who was forced to wear “boring blue and gray.” Heh heh.
And then we went outside and celebrated Spring.
Just the way she is.
Weird and different.
Abby’s handprints in the snow
And it was AMAZING.
11 responses to “Spring is a Weirdo: A Celebration”
Great post! But, what I really commented to say was, Nice photos! It’s a great addition to the blog!
Spring is a weirdo here in MI, too–mid-eighties! All of my daffodils are blooming, and some of my tulips are as well.
Beth, I love your writing!
Wonderful! I, too, have found it harder and harder to stay in a box as I have aged.
And you know what, Spring was a weirdo here in Pittsburgh, too: it was 80+ degrees all week long! We had to bust out the shorts, and my son was disappointed when I wouldn’t let him out of the house in a pair of flowered skorts from his sister. (Mainly, he’d ruin them before his little sister could wear them. He’s done the pink coat thing and even the dress thing (when under 4) numerous times…)
What a fantastic post. You are so right. I remember back in college, one of my favorite things about being in Boulder, CO (besides everything) was when we would get a random April snowstorm, because it was always the fabulous, wet, slushy, great snow, like you said here, just a reminder that we were not the boss of the seasons.
There may not be a “right” way, but there will always be a “better” way.
I just love, love, love this post!!! In so many ways. Way to go girl!!! Stick with the nonconforming. I’m totally jealous of you, cos I think you’re way awesome 🙂 – you have such a wonderful perspective on everything! And I’m totally jealous of that weather. We’ve just had massive floods here in Australia due to the most epic rainfalls ever. Hasn’t felt like summer at all!
Beautiful photos too – can I come live there? Looks like a fairybook land to me 🙂
Wonderfully put! Bizarre = beautiful! 😀
That second picture is just beautiful. Can I come camp in your back yard for a year and take pictures from that spot? I’ll make cookies!
And I love the picture of your boys. Too cute.
Amen. To all of it. Just… Amen!
And I’m going to tack on the obligatory ‘Long live us weirdos!’
LOVE THIS. And I love you! Brilliant post. Gorgeous photos. Beautiful boys. Carry on not conforming. Do you think there’s a Latin translation of that? 😀
Enjoy weird Spring xxx
As always–a great post. And we here in the Uk are havign just the opposite. It’s March and 22 degreesC (That 72 F to you guys). Sunbathing with the daffodils. Scary.
Interesting question about the Latin—maybe this comes closest:
nullum magnum ingenium sine mixtura dementiae fuit—
There has been no great wisdom without an element of madness
Bit of a mouthful–so given the choice I’d go for this one instead –just because it’s so true–
nemo saltat sobrius—–Nobody dances sober!