Thursday, April 21, 2011

Blossoms and Roots

Springtime has hit me, metaphorically and literally.
Last Sunday I spent nearly the whole day, under amazingly bright blue skies and temps in the mid-70s, wandering through Arlington National Cemetary for my first time. With a day like that, I can't boast that I had the place to myself, but I can show you some pictures of how beautifully in full-bloom the spring trees and flowers were:

And dripping in my favorite color: pink!

I spent a good few hours exploring up and down the hills of the massive grounds, overlooking DC to the East and the Potomoc in between. For all of you who've been there already, you know the setting. Each of my sojourns into DC reignites that patriotic feeling of being part of the Big Team now, something that has carried me through the months (years) of work and waiting to get here. Therefore springtime just feels like the right season to be in now: budding, growing, opening to something better.

Meanwhile, the past six weeks - during which my classmates and I have been the target of a deluge of new information - are starting to gel and settle into our new lives. Perhaps tiny trepidatious roots are starting to grow? We've been learning about how to do our new jobs; we've researched the cultures of our new host countries; we've read the names of our new co-workers and some of us have had e-mails or even met them in person. We've completed presentations about the issues we'll encounter when we get to our assignments and a lucky few have even seen photos of our new homes (I haven't yet - but if you want to see a room full of women squeal and run to one computer monitor en masse - just announce, "I've got my housing pictures!"). All the while we're still finishing the closing up our current/old lives here.

I'm noticing that the disparate snippets of information I've been gathering are starting to fit together into full sentences of knowledge. So far it's been like one big game of Concentration, where I've been turning over two cards at a time, hoping for a match. I'm starting to remember where things are, what they mean, how they fit together. Finally. Even the Tabbies are settling into a nice routine. Each day when I come home from FSI on the shuttle with my classmates, I walk through the door, set down my bags and call out to them so they know I'm not the (dreaded-she-with-a-vacuum) housekeeper, and I hear two thumps of kitties jumping onto the carpet. Dodger always comes to greet me first, still ruffled and warm from his spot on the bed, and Toby a moment later - bellowing hello.

A routine equals roots, right? A settling-in and relaxation in one's environment.

Perhaps it's all a circle, and these roots will soon form their own blossoms.

That's all for now.

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