Spring has sprung! We think.
At least all indications are that, despite a couple early false starts that threw folks, flora, and fauna a bit off-cycle, the warm weather promised by the calendar arrival of Spring appears this time to be here to stay. With any luck Jack Frost has checked out until late fall and the only thing left to cover Dixie for the next few months will be the dew. No more shorts one week, then snow the next.
Now let’s just pray that the freeze damage done to local fruit crops and ornamental flowers and trees that had reacted to those early warm spells by bursting forth with new blooms is minimal, and hope good harvests can still be salvaged.
After all, while Spring is a time of true transition, a period of rebirth, when new life is breathed into the world around us, it’s also when hope itself sprouts eternal, when the possibilities are endless. To quote author Bern Williams: “The day the Lord created hope is probably the same day He created Spring.”
And I tend to agree. It’s just a great time of year.
Activity is picking up all over as folks are getting out and enjoying these cool mornings and increasingly longer and warmer days. There are more and more cars showing up around Lake Paul Wallace and Jack’s Island as fishermen and walkers emerge from their hibernation and hit the banks and the walking trail, some looking to drop a pound or two, some looking to pick up a couple. Waterfowl scurry across the waters and take to the air in formation as the rituals of a new mating year begin.
Bright blue skies and warm days are accented by the sweet tunes of songbirds all a-twitter, refilling their bellies and rebuilding nests in anticipation of little ones, while at baseball fields large and small, near and far, the long-awaited crack of the bat against a ball, sending it high into those skies, has reaffirmed to many that all is indeed well again in their world, that their safe haven has returned.
Spring is also an ideal time for fresh starts. I’ve always thought that was what college deans probably initially intended Spring Breaks to be for college students: a time for students to take a “break” in the “spring” to rest and seriously contemplate the remainder of their studies to be completed upon their return to campus. Not participate in an “SEC Girls Gone Wild Week” mixer on steroids at Panama City where you end up with $1,800 in Visa charges you can’t half remember, half your clothes you can’t find, and hearing whispers about you and a video.
But then again, maybe that’s why they schedule those things prior to Easter. Because if a story about a man rising from the dead doesn’t get your attention – especially when, after a week of wide-open partying and little sleep, you may well feel as if you’ve just done so yourself – well, then I’m not really sure what will motivate you.
I do know that to me, growing up, the advent of Spring and the springing forward of clocks one hour meant one thing: more beach trips.
Oh, we’d still go during the winter months sometimes, but it was a bit tough, because, you see, we didn’t have a beach house or condo, and we didn’t have a mobile home on a lot down near the coast. Nope, we camped. And we didn’t even have a real camper back then. All we – and the families that camped with us, our little “gang” – had when I was just a kid were tents.
Even if it was cold we had fun – no, particularly when it was cold, because that’s when it was maybe the most fun. We’d build a big campfire and sit around it until late into the night talking – and, especially, listening, my family and that of Carroll Gray, with Mike, Vickie and Terry, and Phiilip and Sarah Thomas, with Phil and Cathy, along with Bobby and Betty Hailey. Then the following morning pop would cook the best scrambled eggs, bacon, and grits I ever remember eating over a Coleman stove while we huddled around the previous night’s fire, stirred the ashes, and stoked it back to life.
Folks don’t eat that good in Five-Star restaurants.
And every Easter we’d look forward to getting a new bat-style kite to fly along the seashore. Not that diamond-shaped, wobbly, half-won’t-fly-piece-of-junk that everyone else was flying, no sir, but a slick looking vinyl craft with a plastic backbone that would dart and dash across the sky.
Odd what sticks strongest with us isn’t it? And I wouldn’t trade one second of any of that for an hour anywhere.
The sad truth is that kind of simple fun doesn’t exist anymore, not without the world pressing in in some manner. I’d be afraid to leave a kid as I was left; it’d be unsafe today. Guess that’s the price we pay for having to have everything faster and better and stronger. Or so they claim. I just wish I knew who “they” were. Because “they” are wrong as often as “they” are right.
And by the way, does anyone even fly kites anymore, or is that done inside the house by thumb on a downloaded app now too?