Another Season

16 03 2014

It’s been a long, cold winter, even for us in the Deep South. But this week I realized spring is here. The Japanese Magnolias, the Redbuds, the Bradford Pears are at the peak of their blooms. The azalea buds are about to burst out and the trees are full of soft spring green leaves.

bradford pear

I’ve been feeling nostalgic during this transitional time of year as my part of the world goes from grey to colorful. Maybe it was a post and a photo of my dad that brought a wealth of comments and storytelling.  Or maybe it was an abundance of TBT photos. Over the last few weeks I saw a few vintage photos of friends that were taken in the springtime of their lives. Back when their hair was full and their faces were unlined, back when we were brand new friends. I read the gentle teasing about getting old in the comments and I wanted to shout, this is how I still see these friends!

The St. Paddy’s Day parade is always a sign that spring is here. It’s a large, family-friendly parade that winds through the most beautiful, older neighborhoods in the city. My sweetie use to live on this parade route and the day is full of tender memories for him. This year my sweetie and I were joined by his adult children and grandchildren to catch the flying beads. Only in Louisiana can you hear that his young grandchildren were now experienced paraders having practiced at smaller “starter” parades. It was so heartwarming to see my sweetie’s face light up when he held his little mini me up to catch a toy and the little fella grinned ear to ear.

My Sweetie with his mini me

My Sweetie with his mini me

We stopped at a friend’s house that lives in the neighborhood. I noticed her young sons are about to grow taller than their mom. I know when her boys look at her, they only see mom. But I still see that adorable redhead who was bursting with talent as a brand new college graduate. That talent has created a loving home for her family and generations of family and friends are welcome at her open door.

My sweetie and I have known each other for decades. He recently made a casual comment, “that was back when I was young and hot.” What he doesn’t realize is that is who I see when I look at him. I see past the greying hair and still see the man who looked like Jeremiah Johnson back in the day. I see all the season’s of life reflected on the face of this man I love.

There’s been a lot of buzz lately on how hard it is to age in today’s culture. There was a lot of slamming of aging actors at the recent Academy Awards about some who are trying too hard to cling to their youth.

As I stood next to three generations of St. Paddy’s Day parade goers, I realized I’ve come to embrace the age I am and see the gifts it brings. I turn 57 in a few weeks, I’m no longer in the springtime of my life and I’m not clinging to my youth. Each season has it’s own beauty and rewards. What I didn’t know in my younger years is that when I look at my loved ones faces, I would see all of their life reflected back at me. I also know that’s what they see when they look at me. What a treasure to know the joy and tears that caused those laugh lines that now crinkle the corners of our eyes.

As the world spins to another season, it’s good to remember the ageless wisdom, “To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”

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16 responses

16 03 2014
Juanita McGregor

Was going to say good job, but this was such a pleasure to read the good job just doesn’t do it justice…..so, keep it up Connie…each one I have read is pure pleasure because it is filled with the good things that make living so wonderful .

16 03 2014
conniemcleod

Thank you Juanita!! Your kind words have warmed my heart.

17 03 2014
Cathy Chester

You are young at heart, with a beautiful spirit about you, Connie. That shines in everything that you do.

What a lovely, lovely post. Here’s a virtual toast to spring. I feel like we’ve been living in a black and white movie with no end in sight!

Happy St. Patty’s.

17 03 2014
conniemcleod

Thank you Cathy. I feel the same way about you. This has been such a long winter and I know it’s not over in lots of places. I’m so glad to see the spring flowers and to be outside!!

17 03 2014
apleasanthouse

I so agree. To age well is to embrace all the journey- and remind those we love that we love them just as they are. And HOLY COW- he does look like Bob Redford!

17 03 2014
conniemcleod

Cheryl, I first met him during his Jeremiah Johnson phase, but even I was amazed when I put the pictures side by side!

17 03 2014
Generation Above Me (@TheGenAboveMe)

Great pics! No, I wouldn’t want to go back to my 20s or even my 30s. I have a much better sense of myself now. I love your pics. Thanks for sharing your insights about the journey.

17 03 2014
conniemcleod

Thanks for stopping by! It was the picture of my sweetie and his grandson that was my prompt for this post.

18 03 2014
Elizabeth Arnett

OK…you hooked me…I am now a follower. Beautiful writing, Connie. I was touched.

18 03 2014
conniemcleod

Elizabeth, I am so flattered. Thank you!

18 03 2014
Elizabeth Arnett

We really should actually meet one day 🙂

18 03 2014
conniemcleod

I agree, we need to make that happen.

18 03 2014
tani

This was truly beautiful

19 03 2014
conniemcleod

Thanks

27 03 2014
Claudia Schmidt

Funny, I feel the same way about my husband. I still see him 20 years ago when we met. Even though he’s now in his 50’s, I see the 30-ish year old guy I met. Sweet memories.

27 03 2014
conniemcleod

It is sweet indeed!

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