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The Sassy Sandpiper: April and the Creative Sputter

Sassy Sandpiper | M.R. Wilson | TB Reporter

The Sassy Sandpiper contemplates spring and the effect of passing years on the creative spark.

By M.R. Wilson, Columnist, TB Reporter

I used to be afraid of April. I was young and foolish. Everything in overdrive, including the  creative impulse that sparked academic achievement, poetry and general mischief. One year, there came illness, which calmed, then cycled around into calamity that hit me every April or May.

I cannot tell you how grateful I am to have reached this place of Elder Crazy Cat Ladyhood. You have to be a certain age, of course, but that gives you youngsters something to look forward to. I admit, the age-thing came upon me with sudden rudeness. The creative spark is now more accurately a creative sputter—when I finally stumble upon a column idea, for example.

But back to April and how I am no longer afraid of “the cruelest month.”

Humor helps. The April Fool’s joke was on me, by me.

I ordered an expensive supplement for the cats one day, another for myself the next. I stared into the “jar” of SuperCat (fictitious name to protect the innocent) to find approximately one-half inch of fine dust and a tiny scoop. If my math is right (questionable), I’d just purchased a product costing more than $30 an ounce. The cats were leery. My jars of high octane Kool-Aid were full to the brim. Maybe it will even give me the promised boost and ignite sputter to spark.

Further creative sputter resulted in changing bathroom colors from cranberry/black to turquoise/green, complete with matching fragrance bottles. Just so you know, “Tommy Bahama Body Mist” comes in a lovely shade of aqua and smells young and foolish.

Spring Cleaning? Please.(See related column.)

April is simply happier now. Making my exercise class both days this week made me feel like an Olympic champ. I’m blessed with blossoming friendships and burgeoning bulbs of my “Yellow Collection” of gladiolus, dahlia, lily and peacock orchid. Sadly, baby grasshoppers devoured my yet-to-flower amaryllis. Not a green blade in sight. Thank goodness for the endurance of bulbs.

Sassy Sandpiper | M.R. Wilson | TB Reporter

There’s a new kitten in residence. She wandered in the middle of the street in front of my house, meowing piteously. She was lost. Someone probably dumped her off. Don’t ask “How many?” I’m not telling. It’s an addiction like gambling and potato chips. I could do worse, and I have.

Sassy Sandpiper | M.R. Wilson | TB Reporter

For many of us, the elder years bring natural slowing, wisdom and grace. It’s a fair trade for all that exhausting ambition, productivity and status-seeking. There’s a kind of contentment here I haven’t known previously. It’s okay that I feel rushed at the check-out counter. (Did you know the cashiers at Aldi are actually timed on their item-scanning performance? True fact.) It’s okay to drop my keys and lose my cell phone. It’s okay to resist pressure to attend here, promote there, and instead, deliberately experience life everywhere I can, if I so choose. It’s okay to sputter mostly and spark occasionally.

Kind Readers: Happy Passover, Happy Easter, Happy Earth Day. May you sparkle plenty.

Sassy Sandpiper | M.R. Wilson | Easter | Passover | Tampabay News

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