• By Erin Chandler

What Today Brings

“It’s Spring fever, that is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want - oh you don’t know quite what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!” – Mark Twain

The sky is blue this morning, strips of white clouds are up there but it’s blue and the birds are chirping. It’s spring now. I have declared for myself that today it begins. The long cold winter is over. A Saturday night author reading was the last of a long list of duties I had to attend to as I looked forward toSunday like the coming of spring. Doing too much and planning more than your body or mind can handle is not becoming to anyone, and it certainly was not becoming to me as I ended up flat on my bottom at the Carnegie Center Saturday afternoon.

It happened coming out of a playwriting class I was teaching to teenagers from the Youth Arts Council. I was guiding students through their 10-minute plays they will write, direct and perform in May at the Lexington Children’s Theatre. Horse the Horse is one, another is about purple moths going through a rite of passage in their community who have to spend the night in front of a fire and not go into the flames, and the last is a three-character play about accepting yourself. The young writer has chosen an all-star cast of Meryl Streep, Coco Chanel and Rupal. These bright kids have a lot to say and a unique way of saying it.

After warm goodbyes filled with creativity in the air, I approached the elevator and thought to myself, one more event and I am finished.

One last duty, an author reading at Rabbit House Books was looming large with everything on my mind, from fixing up the guest room for the visiting author to preparing the cheese platter for the shop. I walked the few yards toward the elevator in the beautiful third floor of the Carnegie Center, reached out for the elevator button, stumbled over my overactive mind and crashed to the ground. There were four men near and it took the whole group to get me back up. There was a woman at the other end of the hall and it scared her so much she thought they needed to call an ambulance. No, I whimpered, I don’t need an ambulance, I just need a nap.

That was the end of my long cold winter, running from one place to another, hoping not to slip on the ice or turn into a block of ice myself, frozen into inflexibility. Pushing myself like any good-intentioned person who ignores the limits of a fragile body. I went from one endeavor to the next like this was the last year of my life. I guess I had to end up on the ground in order to declare the race over.

Now, “It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.” - Rainer Maria Rilke. Melting into this new season, one that will be different from all others, time has proven as much, my bones, muscles and the blood coursing through my veins can feel the sunshine We all get to declare a new beginning, we get to declare it a pajama day, regroup and push the reset button.

Among the ambitions for this next phase of life include a once and for all, honest to goodness, twice a day meditation practice. Eating better, exercising, listening to our bodies and recognizing if we are doing too much are all gifts we get to give ourselves this spring. The grey days may have a few more sputterings of darkness to share but I’m finished and will be ignoring them. We should appreciate everyone who helped us get through our winter personalities, if depression, grumpiness, overindulgence or any other grey inspired mania transpired, I say as writer Erin Hanson wrote, “Because the birdsong might be pretty, but it’s not for you they sing, and if you think my winter is too cold, you don’t deserve my Spring.” For all of us who endured this long winter… congratulations, here comes the good part.

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