Get by with a little help from a miraculous swarm

It feels like my life is a constant cycle of relaxed and frantic. Is this true for everyone? It probably is. Months will go by in which I barely leave my house—I mean, I see friends, I go to yoga, I’m not a total shut-in. But I do get settled into a very hobbit-like existence of coziness and self-direction, planning my week around what I will cook and when, or which mornings we’ll go out to breakfast, whether I should take an afternoon off to go to the movies.

Then, without my realizing, I turn a corner, and a starting gun goes off.

When I finished up my book tour last year; when we got back from France; when our holiday travel ended, I looked forward to the calm this year would bring, and for the past few months, it has. There has been time for gardening, and reading, and writing, and standing in line for half an hour to buy the fancy fresh bread that everyone in Tucson is obsessed with.

But apparently that couldn’t stand, and the next few months will be much more planned out. At the end of March, I’ll go to AWP, then Dave will travel for work, then we have two sets of guests coming back-to-back. Then it’s my birthday. Then in May and half of June I’ll be at a residency on the east coast. Then in July, I’m teaching at a low-residency MFA program.

And then—I guess I’ll rest again. I’m really looking forward to everything that’s coming up, but there are moments when I’m sitting on the floor, asking my dog who’s a good dog? (he’s a good dog), or doing my laundry, or watering my garden, or seeing my husband putter through the kitchen, and I realize that I will not be doing these calm, regular things for months.

In general, I am change-averse; moving makes me feel insane, as does switching jobs, or missing a weekly scheduled event. But I nonetheless continue to seek change out, for whatever reason. Perhaps deep down I know that my personality needs little pushes, I know enough of my hobbit-self to also plan out calls to adventure, to buy plane tickets months in advance and kick my reluctant-hero self out of bed. Past-me has to make choices for future-me; present-me looks on with bemusement.

It’s spring. I’m trying to sun-bleach our wretched white sheets. I’m getting ready for a season of travel. Relaxed, frantic, relaxed, frantic. Perhaps these are my seasons.