Listening Post: Spring minus

The butterflies and dandelions, rhododendron and apple blossoms, etc., convince me that spring is really here. Usually I greet this realization with a burst of optimistic enthusiasm. But this year–meh–it’s OK, I guess. It’s not that I’m depressed (or no more than usual)–it’s just that something is not quite right. I believe we left out an essential ingredient of spring–winter.

It pains me to admit to such a Puritan outlook, but my enjoyment of the season is plagued by the notion that a great spring can only be deserved by undergoing the purifying suffering of a North Country winter–endless, brutal, mind-numbing winter. Without this evidence of stoic virtue, the blessings of warmth and light don’t feel quite right, like getting credit for something your brother did.

I suppose I’ll get over it, and get with the program after a while. As it says in the Book of Matthew, “He makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” Who am I to argue with good fortune, or good weather? But I can’t help thinking we’ll probably all pay for it next winter. What a sweet spring that one will be.


3 Comments on “Listening Post: Spring minus”

  1. nancy howard says:

    Good one, Dale. Ecstatic about her excellent hours weeding and whatever in the garden yesterday, a very good pal asked me why I wasn’t in my garden, too. I told her it was a personal protest to the great outdoors this year. I hope ma nature takes me as seriously as did my good pal.

  2. erb says:

    Do I feel a drizzle?

    The rain falls on the just and on the unjust fella,
    But mostly on the just, ‘cuz the unjust stole the just’s umbrella.

  3. Tom Blauvelt says:

    Or a North Country twist

    The snow it snoweth on the just
    and also on the unjust’s hovel
    but chiefly on the just, because
    the unjust steals the just’s snow shovel.

    From Ross Miller (Stonington, Connecticut).

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