“Happy spring equinox,” I say cheerily to The Poodle as I get ready to walk him out the door. “The sun is shining and it’s gonna be a lovely walk. Let’s make it a nice long one, around the lake,” I continue as I grab keys and insure I’ve got a poop bag or two.
“Alexa…what’s the temperature?”
“It’s 28 degrees,” was her reply.
“Oh for heaven’s sake…enough of this cold already!” I grumble as I switch to a warmer coat and don hat, gloves and search for my favorite scarf, a blue wool one that hubby says matches my eyes.
The Poodle sits patiently as I get myself together. He knows the drill. I look him over as I consider whether to subject him to his Pendleton coat. I think he rather loathes it. He’s still looking mighty goofy from his last grooming appointment– so goofy that I’d swear his eyes are pleading; No photos on Facebook please! His usual groomer–a lovely Asian woman who had the perfect touch with my boy– hurt her back late last year and now I hear she may not return to work. A new gal has taken over and …well….she doesn’t have the touch. I decide to forgo the coat which I’m certain makes my pooch happy.
To keep warm I started out fast, with The Poodle struggling to keep up. It doesn’t take long into our walk down into the woods to realize that plan B would be in order. Short walk it is.
As I walk without music on this occasion, my mind wanders… and wonders.
Some trees are starting to open to the perpetual promise of spring while other trees are late to the party with their brown, dry withered leaves from last year still stubbornly clinging to otherwise bare branches. And how is it that they still cling after the long winter with plenty of days marked by fiercely strong, bitterly cold winds?
As we round a bend and head up a steep hill back into the housing area my eye catches something blue up in a tree.
Seriously? I say out aloud as I get closer and realize what it is. It’s a bag of dog poop that someone had to have literally thrown from higher up the hill. How is it that someone was this rude? Probably a kid walking their dog. I suppose I should be thankful that the poop was picked up (and I am) ….but still. The poop bag in the trees gets my thoughts on a negative roll. Inexplicably (or not) now I’m thinking of all the recent headlines.
My heart aches for New Zealand while my blood boils over the college admission scandal. And don’t get me started on AOC in D.C. nor Pelosi’s push to lower the voting age to sixteen. I’m no academic on teen brains but I think of my children when they were that age….not to mention all the neighbors’ kids back in the day…or even the teens at the swimming pool just last summer. Lord have mercy I seriously don’t want them voting for our next president! Adolescent brains undergo a crucial development spurt between the ages of 11 and 19. As one author, Sheryl Feinstein, Inside the Teenage Brain: Parenting a Work in Progress, puts it: “…Just as a teen may go through an awkward growth spurt, new cognitive skills and competencies may come in leaps and stutters.” Plainly, the rational part of a teen’s brain isn’t full developed until their early twenties. In the teen brain, the amygdala whose role in the brain is the processing of memory, decision-making and, importantly, emotional responses (such as fear, aggression, and anxiety) is more highly activated during heat-of-the moment situations. The teen’s pre-frontal cortex–the complex cognitive, rational part of the brain–isn’t ready to take control over emotional processing which explains why many teens do profoundly stupid and/or silly things.
Sigh. I suppose I shouldn’t get my knickers in a twist over what goes on in the world. This Too Shall Pass is my favorite mantra these days. And yes, adults do profoundly stupid and insane things too. Lunacy, in one form or another, has been around since time immemorial.
Meh. My senior brain is tired of (most) of it all. So much so that I’m distancing myself more and more from the news of the day. It’s such a tremendous drag on heart and soul. I’d much rather curl up with The Poodle and bury my head in a book.
Ah…but wait! Worry not. I can’t say I’m “Meh” to Spring! The promise of warm days ahead, flowers in full bloom and trees full of leaves makes me happy and thankful to bear witness to all that is good and beautiful.
There is bliss in that.