this time of year, whenever I run through prospect park, I always go up to the top of lookout hill, the highest point in the park. (in fact it is one of the highest elevations in the entire borough, at just shy of two hundred feet above sea level; without the massive deposition from the wisconsin ice sheet, we would be completely underwater.) these are the last few weeks, before the buds and leaves appear, when you can see all the way from the hilltop to the ocean. in between are miles’ worth of unassuming rooftops, a few glistering twenty-first-century monoliths, the parachute jump’s waifish spindle, and the towers of the verrazano bridge, a reminder of the mainland lying mostly behind you.
it’s not the view itself that draws me up there so much as the sense of imminent change. there is something thrilling in the knowledge that the pathways taken by these particular photons will cease to exist in just a few days, once the nascent, nubbly buds on the branches let loose their blooms and leaflets. as lovely as the rush of flowers is once full-blown springtime arrives, I almost like this anticipatory moment better. this moment of being on the verge.
I think I am fairly patient about the wait for spring to arrive, but the changing seasons feel a little more poignant this year than they have before. this year, I am pregnant with my first child, and while I haven’t completely convinced myself that there will be an actual baby living outside my body this fall, I’ve seen enough of the little fetus kickings its minuscule legs to feel like it is, in fact, my child. to my secret delight, the color-coded trimester divisions on the spinning cardboard wheel my midwife gave us are nicely aligned with the dates on which the earth will pass through significant points in its orbit. and so my embryonic winter gives way to this vernal blossoming of hope and growth and light.