I took this picture last spring as the petals were cascading to the ground in ribbons during heavy winds. They settled on top of the still body of water of a fountain on one of my favorite streets in Boston, and the sprinkling of white petals, so delicate, reminded me of a bridal scene. I imagined horse-drawn carriages pulling through the South End in the early 1900s carrying brides wearing lace veils, rained on by the same Dogwood trees. When the cherry trees bloom, they have the same effect: all I can see when I look at the full pink blossoms are fluffy taffeta prom dresses in the 1950s. The flowers, in their simple beauty, transport me.
As I walked around Boston and Cambridge yesterday (a total of about 6 miles, and across the Charles River, thank you), I was constantly transported by the buds cropping up on every tree branch and the impatient daffodils bursting from the ground. All I could think about was running through the open fields of the Arboretum, reading lazily by the shores of Walden Pond, and lying on a hammock in my backyard at home, dizzy with the smell of ocean air and freshly cut grass.
Today, as I slowly put together a paper, I can’t help but feel miles away. The sky is gray and weeping now, but I’m comfortable on the couch with my books and am sipping on the most delicious homemade chai latte (a whisk and a saucepan was all that kept me from lattes at home—who would have thought?). I’m thinking of the warm days ahead, with their promise of bare arms, painted toes, and long walks through flowering avenues. But, as odd as it may be, I’m also looking way ahead to the fall, when I’ll be able to pull out my mittens again and knit lacey shawls to drape over my coats just like a Scandinavian girl. I’m dreaming of the Baltic Sea and the Northern Lights and reading books by candlelight.
While I should be focusing on the urban reform and City Beautiful movements of the late nineteenth century, I just can’t help but think about all of the beauty that the upcoming season will bring. The opportunities to read for pleasure, to live my days without planning. And my love will be done with all of the hectic assignments and projects that pull him away, making my life much more full of laughter. I really cannot wait for spring to come.