It is warm, and the breeze blows fresh sunshine-smells over my face. I dance across the campus pathway, my first college spring at home in Northest America. I hum a spontaneous melody, so full of newness and joy:
Do you ever feel like singing
Right out loud to the sky above?
Is it the same spring? I am feeling that joy in spring.

It is spring, and the seeds of the past are coming back. Those wishes, fears and hopes that fall from me in actions, thoughts, and sacrifices do not cease to be with my forgetting. With seasons come change. I change every year and every day.

The detritus of a squished population surrounds me. There are scraps of clothing, boards and machinery. Buildings need a coat of paint; the melting snow runs tracks through the grime of the old and peeling surface. Water pools in ruts on the ground, forming long ponds across the passageways. No municipal services are left in Yakutia after the death of communism. Pedestrians, and we are all pedestrians, lay long, thin boards over the seasonal moats. We become brave balancing acrobats to get to school and work. It is up to us to find a way through. Look, what is that flattened thing? The freeze-dried carcass of a cat, fatal participant in the sub-arctic changes of season.
Is it that spring? The warning to build my own path is the same.

But the seasons remain the same. I sing the song I began at the beginning. Its refrain returns in the spring of my step and drops with my footfalls. Beginning and end, life and death—spring brings to life and feeds on death.

In a beautiful mansion donated by a man passed on, different people take turns to stand on their feet and read. Such a collection of interesting noses! They read in their own languages of an empty tomb. It is past midnight, the first time I have heard this kind of service. Christos voskres! Christos Anesti! El Messieh kahm! Christ is risen! He has conquered death by death! Joyful faces tell of a stone rolled away and new life brought from dying. The priest, the leader of the church welcomes me to the pre-dawn table. We eat, and he tells me of his faith, drinking wine. I have never seen a pastor drunk before.
Is it the spring once more? The story is the same.

The melted snow water is being soaked into the wakened tree-roots that make up the Alaskan forest of my memory. Barren branches have waited all winter for the sun-sweet nectar to reach them. Hard buds swell and surge into sticky chartreuse baby-wrinkled leaves. They grow a shocking green, almost painful to the eye when the slanted Northern sun shines right through them. After months of landscape in black and white, eyes must grow accustomed. If I forget to look for just one day, I would think it was an explosion. I do not forget to look. I know it happens quickly, but it is still a progression.
Is it spring again? I feel the expectation.

My will-volition swells with the season. I strain against the hull of old boundaries. Tight-packed growth against well-known walls. I am quivering for my freedom.

Quivering with fear. New life means new death. Chances and risks taken are the straightest path to disappointment. Is not my life now entwined, rooted and fed in the sweat, sorrow and tears of all that came before?

Put another ring around this tree. Either die now or die later. It is spring again, every spring that ever was or will be. I am here to take my place in the season. I am the Resurrection and the Life.

Comments are closed.