Well, there are all kinds of signs to wonder about…some less subtle than others: There are signs of renewal, like the blooming iris, the rescued redcurrant bush bearing fruit, or the black swallowtail butterfly I saw depositing eggs on the fennel this afternoon. There are signs of increasing biodiversity in the meadow — yesterday I saw a small metallic blue sweat bee [I think] that I know I haven’t seen here before.
There are signs of social contracts that can’t be described as “unraveling” because they were never really knit together in the first place. I mentioned to a friend recently that the troubling thing about my relationship with those circling copters I used to complain about [and still do, but not so much in blog postings] is that I can afford to consider them inconveniences — even with a long gardening blade in my hand, I’m….uninteresting.
There are signs that cycles of beauty will continue: the garden view shifts from tulips to lilacs to peonies. The fringetrees and viburnums scent the air. The ninebark has once again turned into a giant pink octopus! It’s mad, it’s gay, it’s wonderful, etc..
There are milestones small and great, such as “1st day the kitten eats dry food voluntarily” or “20 years since my last bad breakup” or “15 years with my wife”. I could go back a bit further, and count the years since I watched Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and sensed my relationship at that time was not going to work… [Did I have the words back then to say “Um, I think we both really focused on Kathleen Turner in Act I more than the plot really required…”? No. And besides, that’s sort of what the role of Cat is all about, isn’t it?]
From signs to symbols then: a carefully-folded flag handed to a grieving widow, a silver cup given to honor how quickly a horse can run in the mud, an expensive block of stone engraved with election promises that need not be kept. Those are little snapshots of, oh wait, I’ve forgotten the term…metonymy?