Seasons are not my strong suit. By this I mean that each and every season of each and every year, I forget just how long it takes for one season to give way to the next. I overestimate how quickly winter will turn into spring, for example.
If you want proof of this, look no further than this post, published a week or so before the official first day of spring. I was so excited for the coming of spring but now I feel that spring didn’t truly arrive until sometime late last week or early this week.
The temperature was still fairly cold until recently, and the grass was… well, it was green, but a rather pale green. A green that is trying its hardest to regain its full strength, to return to the color it used to be.
And now it seems as though all of a sudden spring descended on Iowa City. I woke up one morning recently and everything was just SO GREEN from all the rain we’ve been getting lately, with dew and raindrops glistening among the blades of grass. I’d been grumpy about the rain since I kept forgetting to bring my umbrella. It’s no fun to be caught unawares during a sudden downpour. But the rain made everything green.
Until this week, I hadn’t realized how many redbud trees there are here, scattered all over both the east and wide sides of campus. We have some at home too and I love them so much, with their little magenta flowers. There are a lot of trees with white blooms here, and the daffodils and tulips – yellow ones, which doesn’t at all surprise me since yellow is one of our school colors – have begun to bloom as well, but the redbuds are my favorite because they contrast so strongly with the rest of this environment.
I walked to class today on one of the pathways that winds along the Iowa River that divides the east side of campus from the west, and seeing the wide swathes of dark green intermingled with sudden bursts of magenta made me so happy. The campus is beautiful. Iowa weather isn’t that different from Indiana weather, but I still look forward to the arrival of each new season here because I’ve never lived here before and so I don’t know exactly how the river looks in the winter, or which trees will bloom in which colors practically overnight, or what have you. It’s all new to me, all a surprise to me.
It feels as though the earth is waking up after a very long nap.
And now this is my cue to transition to a different yet related topic: I also feel as though I am waking up after a very long nap. This winter I kind of just put my head down and slogged through. It seemed as though the bitterly cold wind would never end! But now it seems as though time is speeding up, faster and faster and faster. The end of the semester is rapidly approaching, a fact that I can barely believe.
I’ve been enjoying how the sunlight streams through the windows of the dining hall at dinnertime because it didn’t for so long. As I discussed in the post mentioned above, spring is motivating me to do things. All of the things.
I’ve been going for a lot of walks lately – along the river, to various parks, or just around town – because I can. I didn’t do that during the winter because I hate the cold. Last Saturday my friends and I laid outside on a blanket in the grass, reading, for hours. I curled up on a bench outside on Sunday to read some more.
Spring has helped me to wake up and shake off the leftover wintry drowsiness, and so has reading. I’ve only read one of the six books from my #AuthorAThon challenge so far, but I’m in the process of reading two of the other books from that challenge.
(I just finished The Letter Q: Queer Writers’ Notes to their Younger Selves by Sarah Moon and James Lecesne, and I’m currently reading Desolation by Derek Landy. I also just started The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh this evening. I’m planning to begin Bone, Vol. 1: Out from Boneville by Jeff Smith tomorrow, as well. And I’m looking forward to so many books that are unrelated to the challenge, including Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven King, which is due to be published in less than a week. I’m so not ready for it. I’m gonna cry while reading it. So much.)
In my previous post about spring, the one I apparently won’t stop referencing, I talked about how I’d started to read again after not reading very much all winter. Well, this is true, but now I’m reading even more.
I’m really glad that I decided to jump on the #AuthorAThon bandwagon because it turned out to be exactly the push I needed to get back into reading – this time for real. I needed something to motivate me to read six books in one week because reading sort of fell by the wayside this winter and I had been finding it hard to get back into the habit of reading regularly, not in fits and starts.
I can feel my mind returning to its old state. I read so little this winter – basically I just read what was required for school – that I kind of forgot what it was like to have a mind filled with thoughts about books. Fiction, nonfiction: It doesn’t really matter.
The Letter Q is nonfiction – a book of essays – but it worked as well as any story in terms of filling my head to bursting with ideas. Reading very little naturally gave me very little to analyze in my spare moments, very little to think about during my walk to class. Now my brain is filled with ideas of what to write about later and what to read about later and, yes, what to think about later.
It’s a great feeling. I need to do a better job of balancing my schoolwork with things such as reading for pleasure, because earlier this semester I basically told myself that the one fun thing I would allow myself time for was writing. Next school year I want to try to read at least one non-school book per week so that I can hopefully avoid this problem.
I swear I had a more cohesive ending to this post in mind when I first came up with the idea of writing it, but I seem to have forgotten it now. Oh, well. I hope you enjoyed the photos of me and the campus, and here’s the link to a piece I’ve been listening to lately: “Waking Up” from the movie Oblivion. (Which I have never seen. The song was recommended to me on YouTube, probably because I’ve been listening to so much music from other science fiction films.)
I like it a lot, seeing as how I named this post after it. You should consider yourselves lucky that I didn’t title this post “Wake me up inside (I can’t wake up).” I almost did.