The first buds of spring surprised me, as they usually do. It was only a week ago when I was hastily scraping a thin layer of ice from my car's windshield. Yesterday afternoon I looked up to see the first red buds on the maple tree towering above my car.
I started taking note of the changes that signify spring quite some time ago...on the dreaded, daily bus ride to middle school. Richard and Steve were unlike any boys I'd ever met. They were loud, obnoxious and fond of inappropriate hand gestures. They were bullies. They never targeted me, but I had my problems with some other bullies at school so I knew it might be just a matter of time before they turned their attention my way.
I decided it was best to "lay low" on the bus and keep to myself. And so each morning I quietly slid in next to the window and adjusted my body to the lowest position possible, turning my gaze away from the chaos of the bus towards the quiet of the outside.
Over the course of the year I became well acquainted with how the landscape changed along with the seasons. The first red buds on the trees not only meant spring was coming-- they also meant the end of the school year was nearing as well. Hello spring. Goodbye Richard, Steve and other bullies.
I love the coming of spring, but it's hard to look at the red buds abounding without thinking of those painful days in middle school.
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