Specters Of Spring - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1700724

Specters Of Spring

This time of year, time travel is possible.

It usually happens in May, just before Memorial Day, when the sighing, soggy earth has been cooked just enough to tip the tide warm, and the air smells like the promise of summer and mischief. I can smell crushes and friendships long forgotten. I walk through rooms that cease to be and put on shoes that no longer fit me.

Technically, it is the faintly musty permanent mildew of a seaside landscape mixed with the verdant nuptials of trees floating on the breeze … but it is permanence and perfection to me.

This delicate, deliciousness of fragile fertility reappears year after year. I may have started to wrinkle and gray, but this scent is a perpetual baby and will never be anything but.

Its sweet vigor and decadence is enough to make me cry. If I could capture it, bottle it, market it for just three easy payments of $19.95, I’d have a patented Fountain of Youth. But to do so would murder the magic.

It is a remembrance I forget I’ve forgotten until it reappears annually, as consistently as Christmas. It is specific to this place, and it is wholeness inhaled. With it come the ghost selves I’ve long since buried as fertilizer to germinate the me that is now. They waft in through the windows at night to tickle my memory and giggle at what they’ve created, unsure of what would become of me as they left me to forge on through harsher seasons.

I’d like to think they’re proud of their offspring, these haunting visitors, these specters of spring. To go back and be them would most assuredly rain their disapproval, this much I know. But, this time of year, time travel is possible. And I relish it, more and more, with each annual inhale.

Kathryn Lerner

Water Mill


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