"No spring flowers. No autumn leaves," said my poetry professor in my first creative writing class in college. It was his mantra, his technique to convince a group of 18 year olds to write something fresh, new, exciting. After his 20-something year career teaching creative writing, I'm sure he'd tired of reading the same poems about butterflies spreading their wings among the spring flowers from young folks writing about their transitions into adulthood...
I got it. I wanted to be different. It was important to me that my writing be new and exciting. I wish I'd gotten it in a truer way, though. I wish I'd let his words sink deeper. I wish I hadn't let myself feel the hope unfolding last spring when I believed that my husband really was going to get better, that we'd be starting a new life, having a fresh start. When it was the first of May last year, it seemed like he'd finally gotten clean, finally quit the relapsing, the constant back and forth with detox. I really believed it would be over soon. It already felt like it had gone on for too long, and it seemed like there must be something new, just around the bend.
The spring flowers are kind of cold to me this year.
There are good things that have happened to me. I've learned a lot about myself, and I'm grateful. I still wish it hadn't had to hurt. I wish my memory of myself this time last year didn't sting. I wish I could look at the flowers and still find them to be so full of meaning.