Spring is Coming Soon – Isn’t it? by Lee Lynch

The Amazon Trail: Spring Is Coming Soon—Isn’t It?

Okay, I give in, it’s depression. I might as well face it. And I know I’m not alone.

You can guess when it started: November 8, 2016. I tried to overcome it by resisting, ignoring, laughing at the fools on the hill. Like the amazing Elizabeth Warren, I persisted, but so did this depression.

I’ve buried myself in books, my favorites: British police procedurals like Cynthia Harrod-Eagles, Graham Hurley, Elizabeth George. Right now, they’re less gloomy than what has become of the land that I love. The local library has seen a lot of me lately. My sweetheart has done extra duty with cuddling, encouraging, listening. It’s crazy, my life has never been better: I’m married to a spectacular woman, we have shelter, food, friends, yet I can’t shake the depression.

I had a twelve-step sponsor who warned me against the word depression. “Call it being down in the dumps, feeling blue.” Sorry, Mary, I’m beyond that now. The only substitution I can make is “low-spirited.” I have no creative energy, no enthusiasm or passion, even some of the time no interest in reading. I nap, I find cheer in the activity of the birds outside and our cat inside. I am grateful, because those treasures in themselves make for a good life.image (1).png

Yet the depression started in deep winter. We don’t have blizzards here, but the wind and rain have been unrelenting. Walking has always been a helpful tool in downward spirals, and I always have loved walking, even while the atmospheric river called the Pineapple Express barrels through as it has this year. Now that my arthritis has gotten worse, though, walking in the damp and cold have become painful enough to be unwise. Finding the motivation and spunk to get on the exercycle is another battle.

Then I heard from my oldest friend. She’s been diagnosed with liver cancer that spread to the pancreas. We’ve known each other since seventh grade, fell in love, and came out together. She was always going to be around. She has a loving daughter and granddaughter and partner and just turned seventy-one.

Mortality is a sharp, ice cold slap in the face. I can’t fix her, save her, or even soothe her. She’s a nurse and says she’d rather live a good four months than eight months of torture.

Immediately thereafter, I started winnowing out my books. I’ve been hauling some of them around almost as long as I’ve known my friend. My office is too cluttered; I can’t find things. In the process, I’ve tossed out other worn out, once beloved objects. I know what this sounds like, this divesting of possessions, but I suspect it’s more about my friend than me. It’s a letting go.

Two days after I heard my friend’s news, I came down with the Coastal Crud, a term used by an R.N. at the local hospital to describe a flu-ish cold that drags on for weeks, guaranteeing an annoying cough and lower energy than an empty gas tank. My sweetheart said it’s like the Trump election—insidious, always at the back of my throat, inducing a gagging threat of nausea and perpetuating the gloom of an everlasting winter. There were times when, resting prone, it took all my energy to keep breathing.

Once back at my laptop, I discovered that my ability to focus had called in sick. What’s a writer without focus? I did a lot of research for my next book, and very little actual writing, while sitting in front of a S.A.D. light (for Seasonal Affective Disorder), a handy tool in this climate.

But the birds are coming back. V’s of geese have been honking overhead. Rust-colored rufous hummingbirds are making year-round hummers share their feeders. Clouds of robins regularly descend on the berry bushes outside our kitchen window. Crocuses, hyacinths, daffodils are showing their colors. Shoots of mystery are poking out of the ground and pots where we planted who knows what.

It’s also the season for award finalists to be announced. While I don’t write for awards or money, every writer knows how encouraging it is to be recognized. The Goldies are one reason I’m grateful to The Golden Crown Literary Society, Saints and Sinners, and The Alice B. Readers Awards. To paraphrase my sweetheart, other organizations seem to bypass books written by actual lesbians, published by lesbians, edited by lesbians, bought and read by lesbians.

A couple of days ago, a break in the weather gave us spring for about twenty-four hours. Neighbors were everywhere in the streets greeting one another. The next day we were driven back inside by the blowing rain. Driven inside to the computer, radio, and TV news. The what-has-he-done-now news, the end of health insurance news, the destroy civil rights news.

Spring is in the air, though, and I’m finding breaths of it on Twitter. Here’s @leahmcelrath (she persisted) on Twitter: “When you feel despair creep in… Take a moment to look around at the mobilization of resistance. It’s a beautiful thing.”

Then a sweet reminder from poet James Schwartz (@queeraspoetry) tweeting my own “It Gets Better” message (@LeeLynchWriter @ItGetsBetter youtu.be/DUzBYHciUr4) back to me when I most need it.

Copyright Lee Lynch 2017

March 2007

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9 thoughts on “Spring is Coming Soon – Isn’t it? by Lee Lynch

  1. It’s a drop the bucket, but I find some consolation in in planting flower seeds (and later tomatoes) in flats indoors to be set out later, some in planters, some in the ground, when it gets warm enough. Much later, since I live in western MA, but it’s become a soothing tradition. Yes spring is coming.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. It has been a very long, dreary winter here in Scotland too. Our politics seem to have been taken over by the globalisation-victim gullibles, as has yours. Woe! Woe! But by our porch is a snowdrop that grows through a heavy layer of gravel, knowing how unconsidered its delicate flower will be, and right in line for the postman’s boot. I marvel at the tenacity of the wee thing every year. All the best to you and your beloved, Lee.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh Lee, I am right there with you. 100%. Malignant malaise. It’s like an oppressive blanket that slows and stifles. My three dogs are the little saviors because they demand care. I’m looking forward to the cruise in June with sunshine, water, and friends.
    Stay strong!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ah, yes, depression. I was hospitalized a week after the election with heart problems(better now). A young doctor was taking my
    history. When he got to the mental health section, he asked, “Depression?” I said. “In the last week.” He grimaced and said,
    “i get that.”
    It is heartening to see so many people coming out in resistance.

    Like

  5. Hi Lee,
    I’m traveling so only just got a chance to respond to this, but wanted to say how much I identified with it. Even though winter weather hasn’t been an issue this year in Florida, that underlying sense of malaise is most definitely there. I’m a cheerful, optimistic person but I have been fighting this ongoing sense of doom and malaise and have definitely had to change some of my media habits. When I lived in Israel I got in the habit of always listening to the news because you just had to know what was going on at all times and I’ve continued to do that ever since. But now I can hardly stand to watch it. Sometimes when I wake up in the middle of the night I feel such anger about all of this. And yes, I use nature as my antidote.
    Best,
    Alison

    Like

  6. I like your sun porch (or whatever you refer to it as) it is beautiful. I understand what you are going through since I am going through the same thing. He is a lunatic. What kind of person thinks Global Warming is “fake News”. Also, why in the world does Trump think we need coal for nowadays? We found cleaner ways to produce energy that is why the closed down mining.

    Like

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