Tuesday, March 25, 2008

North Carolina

It's my spring break, and I decided to take a "real" vacation and visit North Carolina, where most of my family lives. I've been here a few days now, and I'm trying to remember why I wanted to come here. I'm having a great time--don't get me wrong--but, as usual, it's not what I thought it would be.

First of all, it's kind of cold here. Desiring an escape from the lingering NYC cold, I envisioned a sunny south, where I could louge poolside and drink smoothies. Reality check: it's March. But there are daffodils, forsythia, and redbud in bloom, and, while I saw snowflakes yesterday, today the sun is shining.

Secondly, I was really looking forward to seeing my friends, and for the most part that has been extremely enjoyable. I spent a wonderful evening with my old book club last night, and was able to catch up with people I love, who I haven't seen in ages. But I have one friend who is very sad. Because I care about him deeply, it makes me sad to seem him this way. In fact, it hit me harder than I thought it would, and last night I found myself tossing and turning, and trying to understand why it was affecting me so strongly. I know that I can't make someone happy--only they can do that. And yet, it seems so clear to me what he should do to improve his life. Sigh...

It's good to see my family, though there are changes there too. One of my brothers is in prison. Another one is quitting his job, with no real plan for what to do next. My parents are in Idaho, visiting my grandmother who is going into a nursing home. I want to help my family somehow, but I don't know how. The only thing I can think of to do is clean. So I've been vacuuming and dusting cobwebs out of the corners. I think I'll go weed around the peonies that are emerging in the garden, and pick some daffodils. Spring is here, and that alone gives me hope. It amazes me sometimes that this world contains such beauty and such sadness all at once.

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