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let me tell you what happens in the spring

Listen, here is what I know.

Just when you think spring will never come, it does. The rains pour and seep deeply. You turn to your neighbor, talk about the buds: I think they're greener than yesterday! and you titter and look at the ground and agree.

The springs when I was little, they came in a desperate rush. When February bloomed, you would already have started listlessly fanning yourself while sitting on the front porch and adding extra ice to your sweet tea. Winter doesn't exist in southeast Texas, just a cool spell. Mama would pat seeds into the garden most every year and hope that maybe this would be the year, but the heat still came and we just plucked plump, warm blackberries off the wild brambles instead.

Spring still arrives in a desperate rush in Texas. I know because I was there to see it last week. In the already-green woods lies my childhood, but I looked for it and it is no longer there. Just bones.

Where are you from? a lady asked me. Texas, I responded. It was the truth but the words rolled strangely off my tongue. Where I'm from, I don't know. Home? I know of no place holding that title; only people.

So you wait. Things happen. You wait some more. More things happen. Things change. We all change. I guess what I'm trying to say is that with each spring, you morph. There may be one spring when you think, "Oh, this is it. This is who I am," and then you take another big swallow of life and you're different yet again.

Gradually you shed skins and step into new ones and they just tell you that you're growing.

What I know is not much, but come back next year and I'll have more to tell you.