United Way March Madness has started in earnest. Agency site visits, emails back and forth with my co-chair and UW staff, proposals to read. I have only a few left on my "to do" pile, but I have to REREAD proposals so I am ready for an agency visit. (And will reread them - or at least skim them - one more time before the teams meet the fourth week of March to discuss them.)
I am in the whirl of United Way. And nothing else in my life - court work, Symphony, laundry, my marriage - goes away during this month. It's busy around here. I have wanted to write for my blog and feel as if I have just had no time. No time, no time, no time!
Tonight I am making some time. Warren is at a Symphony meeting; my most pressing court work is done for the day; I have no agency visits scheduled for tomorrow.
Last Sunday afternoon was the Central Ohio Symphony's March concert. Concert Week is always packed around here; Warren is headed in about seven different directions at any time. From tickets to programs to rehearsals to staging, everything flows through his hands, directly or indirectly, during Concert Week.
There was an early afternoon rehearsal as the out-of-state soloist had not yet practiced with the orchestra. Warren and I went over midday to open the building. Standing on the empty stage, watching the almost-spring sun come in the windows, I took in the silence and the hush before the musicians arrived, before the conductor arrived, before the audience arrived.
The concert was stunning. Simply stunning. The guest soloist, performing the Sibelius violin concerto, was brilliant. Breathtaking. When the piece concluded, while her bow was still up in the air and Jaime had just lowered his baton, one concertgoer cried out - a vocalized gasp of admiration and longing - and then the audience stood up in waves for a lengthy ovation. One of my friends told me afterwards that he turned to his girlfriend at that point and said "that was possibly the greatest musical performance I will ever hear in my life."
Writing about it tonight, Sunday now seems so far away. As I noted when I started this post, I am in the whirl of things and my whirl starts with the phrase "United Way."
Whirl or no, I am not so far down the United Way tunnel (well, I don't think I am) that I am oblivious to the changes outside. After an unusually snowy February and bitter early March, spring has started to come on with a vengeance. The air is softer; it hit the high 60s by midafternoon.
I made a point of walking to all of my meetings today just so I could take in the changing scenery. Crocuses are up; daffodil shoots are up. I walked by several patches of snowdrops and some bright yellow flowers I do not recognize. I saw a pussy willow in bloom in someone's side yard.
In front of Robinson's, one of our local funeral homes, the yellow crocuses were in brilliant full bloom. That would have been enough to make me smile; I love the brightness. And then I noticed something small working the crocus patch. I stood for a half moment, watching, almost holding my breath.
The first honeybee of 2010!
Flower by flower, bee by bee, spring is muscling winter out of the way.
The poet Shelley wrote "If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?" I'm a step ahead of Shelley after seeing that bee today.
If Bees come, can Gardening be far behind?