Spring Fever by Jamie Kirkpatrick

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Here we are on the last day of February and for a few days last week, it was beginning to smell like spring. It has been an uncommonly mild winter and while I sincerely believe in global warming and climate change, I’m not above being thankful for Persephone’s imminent arrival. I’ve already played several rounds of golf out at the club (in shorts, no less!) and rechristened the porch with morning coffee and evening cocktails. We even took down the Christmas tree. Furthermore, I’m given to understand that since there has been no winter kill this year, 2017 will be the Year of Good Crabs around the Bay. It seems like we’ve traded Richard III’s winter of discontent for Pope’s hope springs eternal—a really good deal by any standard. Life is good over here in the Land of Pleasant Living.

Now don’t get me wrong: I’m not about to plant any vegetables or throw down any grass seed just yet; March will still be it’s dysfunctional lion and lamb self and even good old April may have a surprise or two up its foolish sleeve. But we’re over the hump. Punxsutawney Phil, that feisty little rodent who hit the snooze button four weeks ago, will soon be waking up for good. Closer to home, in fact just over my neighbor’s fence, croci and daffodils are poking their heads out of the ground in wary disbelief. The geese fled town a week ago and just in the last four days, the ospreys moved back in, two weeks ahead of schedule. They know things we don’t and that’s good enough for me.

More harbingers abound. Yesterday, a robin took a bath in my front yard and a friend saw a red-wing blackbird out by Lynch The forsythia in front of Stephne Manor is in blooming yellow, the flowering crab apple in Fountain Square is bright pink, and there are tiny green leaves on the weeping willow by the pond. There was even a sheen of pollen on the windshield of the car yesterday morning. If all that is not proof enough, last night, I saw a man at the bar in The Kitchen order a gin and tonic…but then I realized I was looking in the mirror.

Farther afield, baseballs are getting whacked all over Florida and Arizona. (Speaking of dysfunction, Cubs fans are thinking about a repeat instead of their perennial disappointment; climate change must be real!). Down in New Orleans, folks are in full Mardi Gras mode. Meanwhile, over in Augusta, Georgia, they’re getting ready for the azaleas to bloom and for that golf tournament that’s unlike any other. (When you hear that theme song, you know spring has really sprung!)

I know that in a few short months, we’ll be grousing about the heat and humidity, but for now, I say it’s OK to revel in spring, even if it’s just the faux variety. The coming of spring means the great cosmic mandala is still turning, that the circle is unbroken, and there is wholeness in life.

After all we’ve been through lately—you know what I’m talking about—that’s enough to keep me going for the next few months.

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