What if?

It was on a snowy winter night 13 years ago, colder than tonight, that I first heard Joe Frank: Work In Progress
. I was driving home late at night, alone. Highways abandoned in the storm. Tires, wipers – muffled. Drifting soundless through light from one solitary streetlight after another. Scanning the dial, I heard a desperate voice. Pleading. Mesmerizing. Was it real? Fear and sadness, and a tightening in my throat.

It left me free, cut loose, adrift. Nothing predetermined, I could do anything – anything was possible. What if I didn’t go home? What if I kept driving? Where would I go? What would happen? What if…?

Ever since then I’ve been aware that that choice is always present, lurking. Inertia usually defines what I do – waking, working, eating, sleeping – the path of least resistance. But any moment I could change direction. I could be something else.  

21:31:58 PM

Now we not only have a couple of inches of snow on the ground, but we’re starting to get thunder and lightning, too. I stepped out into the backyard and was promptly pasted with a sticky, slushy coat on my windward side. It’s disheartening. I think, “What if spring doesn’t
come? What then?” or “What if this is just the beginning of another 3 months of winter?”  

10:37:14 AM

Vinca major (periwinkle) photo
Cloudy; Light Snow, Rain, Mist
1°C (33.8°F) Also on my birthday, I got the use of a friend’s digital camera (thanks, Deb and Bruce!). I had a lot of fun with it. I’ll be sprinkling the results into the site until I can get a camera of my own. This first one is a tiny bloom of periwinkle. The buds around it are still too cold to open, but this one, nestled in the leaves, was brave and foolish enough to come out. I hope it hangs on through today’s snow.  

16:40:47 PM

Yesterday was my birthday, my 37th. Every few years, I try to find something significant
about April 26th, and I usually come up short. Since 37 is a particulary in
significant number (other than being prime, I guess), I made an extra effort this time to find something meaningful.

Sometimes shared birthdays do the trick. This year I like John James Audubon
, in 1785, and Frederick Law Olmsted
, in 1822.

I also noticed the full moon. Using my moon-phase script, it was simple enough to find that this is the first time my birthday has coincided exactly with a full moon. Which seemed significant until I made a little graph:

Moon illumination on April 26th, 1965 - 2002

As you can see, the moon comes pretty darn close to full every few years, and I couldn’t remember anything especially good or bad, lucky or unlucky that happened in the full moon years (or the new moon years, for that matter).

So I decided, instead, to enjoy the day – a few little projects in the yard, a fabulous carrot cake from Jenny, and a smattering of presents opened throughout the day. Wonderful.  

18:10:26 PM

7°C (44.6°F) A warmer morning than yesterday, but cloudy and expected to get colder with a mix of rain and snow (again).