And now there is a blue lilt to the air, a gauzy greenness an unmistakable shimmer that runs through the days. (I have lived the taste of this before in another time and place — but when and where?) Just around the bend in the road lies that fairytale ball, Spring. Every blade, every branch, every blossom in the kingdom is invited. Who can resist such excitement?

See how the world readies itself for festivities with ribbons and jewels. Young oak leaves unfurling from tight casings hypnotic green, camellias tossing ruffled candy pink skirts, queenly irises yawning purple and gold, tremulous tulips breaking like dawn, jonquils and daffodils nodding dainty heads, straight-backed lavender spearing the air, starry faced jasmine bursting out of sharp-tipped buds, brilliant poppies catching sunlight like a lucky penny, wisteria with its tumbling grape-like clusters scenting the world with wisterious allure.

I stumble amidst the incandescent beauty of this neighborhood in the hills. These domestic paths so familiar and full of wild surprise. I am taken by the paradox of this spontaneous orchestration. And its grand scale! The thrill of rising sap, the delicate aura of ripening, the extravagance of an indomitable force animating the particular and the universal, propelling the one and many in an ancient cycle. And why does this feel both searingly new and hauntingly accustomed?

One night I wake from a dream and the darkness is a riptide of memories that pulls me back to the wide staircase of a convent college on Cathedral Road in a seaside city in Southern India. If you do not know it it does not matter. If you do, then you know how we streamed up those stairs like an improbable river of flowers, a river of stars. With our books and our timetables, our handwritten notes, our unruled foreheads. How we sat on the wooden benches of higher education as the world rained down upon us. How our minds broke casually into blossom. How we thrived on canteen samosas, coffee and conversation. The sky a brilliant blue tent of possibility. The future a languorous cat. This life an all-absorbing romance.

How we floated through that time and space like dust motes, like winged seeds, like dragonflies in a ray of sunlight. Gleaming with energies that arced far beyond our single selves, charged with prolific dreams, and inchoate ideas, untethered potential. How we lived that springtime of our lives unbeknownst to ourselves with such dazzling perfection.

And now we are where we are, scattered across the world wrapped in cherished roles, older yes, wiser perhaps, another bend in the road before us. Another springtime beckoning. And who can resist such excitement?

Only those who overthink it.

The flower is always the bud’s undoing. Let go then. Step into the river, lean into the wind, let the strength of the earth rise through you. Watch your fingertips burst into bloom.

26 responses to “Springtime

  • Dreamer of Dreams

    This is absolutely lovely! I love your listing, and your tumbling imagery, your lush language, all of which speak to me, resonate with me. (And I remember what it was like to do all those things in Chennai!)
    And I love these lines:
    “Only those who overthink it. The flower is always the bud’s undoing. Let go then. Step into the river lean into the wind let the strength of the earth rise through you. Watch your fingertips burst into bloom.”

  • Srini

    Lovely! And this is how it the creator intended it to be. Year after year, season after season, the never changing rhythm. It’s there for all of us to behold, if only we would pause and look. I live virtually next door to the ‘Convent’ college on Cathedral Road’ and my daughter is an alumnus as well!! You do write so evocatively, keep them coming. God Bless.

  • Joh

    And here in a southern land the leaves are starting to fall.

  • SaraB

    thanks Pavi for that word of hope and the tingle of pure joy that your writing evokes. stay well and happy


    • Pavithra K. Mehta

      Thanks for the kind words Auntie. Hope you and the family are doing wonderfully well — always a joy to hear from you.

  • Ramesh Gandhi

    How many times can I write to tell you and those who would care to look at my having written about, the exquisiteness of your prose-poetry. I am fortunate in receiving your largesse unexpectedly, mostly on gloomy days full of man’s insatiable inventions for strife, the bloodier the better.

    Today, by coincidence, it being springtime, I recalled my own blog post from this same day in 2014, a paragraph to accompany a photograph which I took, remembering a man-made? disaster which had recently taken place:

    Shrouded in Silence

    Submerged in water, breathless in air, or tortured on land. Perished, splintered. What, where, when? Another page in man’s history of penchant for mystery, but fraught with unending expectancy, hope and fear for the kith and kin of those connected with the missing lives. When, where is the closure? What is the end of the story?

    More than 370 questions.

    http://rameshgandhi.blogspot.in/2014/03/shrouded-in-silence.html (Please see the photograph as well)

    • Pavithra K. Mehta

      Thank you for the warm words Ramesh. And for sharing your poignant piece on that recent tragedy. It sobers the heart to think of all the unbearable realities that are given to this world to bear. And such a reminder to bring compassion to every interaction — for beneath the surface who knows what unanswered questions are being wrestled with ‘where the spirit meets the bone’.

  • sparklinraindrops

    We have been talking about seeing the pattern, recognising patterns (and the irony of stumbling over the explanations in Odiya!). The seasons are a perfect example. Your writing makes the dainty headed daffodils and starry faced jasmines come alive! Here we have slipped into summer, hot hot days with coolish nights. Miss you and the seasons of poetry and shakespeare at our lady’s. Hope they come around again some day!

    • Pavithra K. Mehta

      Lovely to see you here Ms SparklinRaindrops! 🙂 Just caught up on your blog and now I am craving caramel squares and mountainside villages. Miss you and our marvelous Shakespeare circles from Our Lady’s days too! Much love.

  • Praveen Sripad

    Beautiful, simply beautiful. I first started reading this blog after I came across the post ‘A Certain South Indian Childhood’. I find your writing truly lifting and am always looking forward to your next post.

    Thank you and wish you a joyous spring time.

    • Pavithra K. Mehta

      Glad you enjoyed the post and gratitude for the good wishes and kind words Praveen. Wishing you a splendid spring and beyond…

  • girishsud

    A true delight! The words are so carefully woven into an image that leaves a lasting impression on the mind. Keep it coming. You are an inspiration.

  • Tina

    Love this, Pavithra! So evocative!

  • Krishnan

    Hello Pavithra, I was introduced to your blog by a cousin of mine and was right away enamored by the wonderfully Malgudi-days-like emotions your writing is able to exude. Your exquisite descriptions are like tangible keys to the vault of memories in the mind of a reader and each time leave a nice lingering feeling. I wish you’d write more frequently! 🙂 I’d be happy if you’d drop by at my blog!

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