I recently did an online personality profile, one that was linked from a reputable daily paper. I know the go, I know which way the questions tend, I know what kind of person I am. This one had lots of questions about humour and spirituality which led to my two strongest personality traits - I like humour, and I don't believe in God.
But what really startled me was Question #187: "Do you take risks when establishing new relationships?"
About time! Thank goodness I didn't make this a weekly update, as I'd anticipated!
I have three types of sweetpea in my garden - a light blue and a dark blue, both from Mrs Broad in Queensland; and a white one called Mrs Collier. Every year I plant them, and they flower and die, and I collect the seeds to plant the following year. Mostly I plant the same colour together - all dark blue, all white - but one end of the sweet-pea patch is better than the other, and last year dark blue was at the shady end. That's why you don't see any dark blue here - I only got a couple of vines this time. It's also why there are only 3 types - I used to have a fourth, Painted Lady, the original variety, an intensely scented pink flower (like all ladies that paint are). I miss Painted Lady.
When I imagine the march of time, I think of one of those typical one-page calendars that has 3 months across and 4 down. When it's February, I'm there in the middle of the top line, May I'm floating in the middle, September I'm 3 down and 3 across - it's how I place myself in the flow of time. Which is why October is so trying, the dark dingy bottom left-hand corner, tucked away, dusty and dim, the beginning of the last row, cramped and awkward, the weight of all those other months on top and still a whole row to traverse before the end. It's an exhausted month, a dispiriting month. After spring days promising sunlight and warmth, it's wet and cold and windy. If a year were a lifetime, October is mid-retirement when, no matter how healthy and happy you are, you can start expecting to die any second.
Which is probably why I never plan anything for my birthday.