Thing #22 – Juicy Memories

I don’t know if you heard, but the first day of spring happened.

Whenever the seasons shift, I get a feeling in my stomach I can only describe as “restless itchiness.” It’s the product of a long string of memories from that respective season.

I’ve long held a practice of reflecting on, “what was I doing last year at this time?” This practice is especially potent during changes in season. I’ve done this for so many years that I’ve formed a capsule inside me with layers of memories, each holding stories like a tree’s rings.

The most influential layers of spring memories began in high school – the first Cranberries album, rides in Trav’s Mustang with the windows down, and the smell of thawing fields. In college, I added layers of frisbee in James Madison Park, inventing stories about strangers on State Street, jacketless walks home from campus, and Women’s Studies projects. Into adulthood, the layers deepen – dance rehearsals, work events, concerts at First Avenue, and walking down city streets with men whose hands I had no business holding.

Every season when I do the, “what was I doing last year,” exercise, I not only remember last year, but the entire catalog of ‘last years’ that came before. They’ve grown into one singular spring memory that holds decades of compounding emotion. I notice and acknowledge it, but don’t get attached. It screams at me to be outside in the sun and try new things, but also encourages me to sink happily into the melancholy of two straight weeks of rain.

As flowers poke from their beds and grass grows greener, I’m fully celebrating my itchy restless spring memory capsule. I’m immersing myself in spring things like The Cranberries and early morning walks. And in the spirit of green grass, I’ve spent the week drinking all kinds of green juice. It’s giving me an excuse to visit new places and get actual nutrients in my body for a change.

Here are a few of my picks, rated on a scale of how similarly they taste to grass. 1 blade = not grassy, 5 blades = tastes like lawn

Ruby Jean’s JuiceryCtrl+Alt+Del – 5 blades

  • This is salad juice. If you’re looking for a light, refreshing flavor without sweetness, this is your guy. While jalapeno is an ingredient, I only noticed a slight whisper of spice. Also…holy crap this place is INCREDIBLE, cute and yummy. Can’t wait to go back.

t.Loft Warrior – 3 blades

  • Super crazy fresh with kale, cukes, lemon, ginger, pineapple and sprinkles of cayenne. It’s my fave so far, mostly because the spice level is in perfect balance with the other flavors. Also, I just love t.Loft and am a huge fan of their Happy Tea.

Whole Foods Green Aid –  1 blade

  • Very apple-forward and sweet with a gentle nudge of green at the end. If I blindfolded you and forced you to drink mystery juice, you’d probably guess it was fancy apple juice. And you’d probably question whether we should hang out again.

Unbakery and Juicery#04 Green – 2 blades

  • This one has a tart, lemon/berry presentation. In between sips, the spinach tiptoes onto the back of your tongue. The drive-through window makes it easy to order juice when you’re walking your big silly dog.

Cafe Gratitude – Complete – 5 blades

  • Imagine standing in the sunshine in your most ideal happy place. Imagine the grass there. It tastes like this.

The equinoxes have a stronger grasp on me than the solstices. (Science reminder: equinox=spring/fall, solstice=summer/winter) Equinoxes ease us into and out of seasonal extremes, waking us up and tucking us in throughout the year. They’re the purgatories between seasonal highs and lows, holding the inherently heavy emotion of rebirth and death. It makes sense to me why I feel the way I do.

Next year when I look back at this spring, the ring in my memory capsule will be particularly verdant – not just because of all the juice, but because the field of inspiration blooming inside me. But mostly because the juice.

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