Friday, March 14, 2008

"Nope, Spring's Infernal!"

“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.”
----Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672)

Hey, look... I can be as romantic as the next guy (that's easy, if the next guy is a guy) but something about this “Spring” nonsense sticks in my craw like a stale marshmallow at Easter.

We've all been duped into gratefully accepting the change of season, and we dance around May Poles in celebration, just because we've suffered a little snow and maybe a bit of ice. Well, maybe a ton of snow and a river of ice, but so what?

Was Old Man Winter all so bad? At least he was honest with us. He said, “get your rear in gear and change that battery!” or “don't forget your mittens!” or “OK, so lie down and die then, fool...I mean business!” Winter is a what's what and don't-forget-I-said-so time of year.

You may not like Winter, but he's here for your own good. He's the stiffener in your spine. The tester of your fortitude. The twinge in your wisdom tooth that sends you running to the dentist.
But then good ol' Spring ambles in, the Great Enabler. You made it this far, take a rest! Take a few months off! Cheat on your taxes... go ahead, you've had enough for awhile. You deserve a break today. Go ahead and dream.

It's a form of mania... “our little gift of sanctioned madness,” as David Assael called it. Four or five months of relative sanity is ended in one joyous burst of degradation. It's Spring. Free passes for everybody. Anything goes. Any fantasy can be delivered, any wish fulfilled.

Robin Williams said that Spring is nature's way of saying, “Let's party!” But it won't be Mother Nature picking up the tab, my friend, it will be you! That big screen HD TV you bought for yourself in high hysteria? That new convertible that beckoned you as the birds twittered enticingly in the trees? That “new life without the wife” you plumped for? No problem! Just tell the kids the Devil made you do it!

But Spring is not only an enabler. She leads you on, and then she creams you.

Did you ever get socked by an inch of freezing rain in the middle of March? If not that, then how about a nice little landslide triggered by all that snowmelt? How about mud... you like mud? Suck off your shoes and plaster your car and spin your tires, boy, 'cause here she comes!

The Great Flood was just a springtime shower, at first. You can ask Noah.

It makes me shudder inside, I'll tell you. But then I remind myself that Spring, like Winter, will pass. We can get through this thing, I think. We just have to keep a stiff upper lip and never, never ever, let down our guard!


---Michael--- said...

This piece was originally written for and submitted to "Funny Times."

Andrée said...

The Bradstreet quote reminds me of all the old syllogisms about needing pain to understand happiness. The dark before the dawn. I don't like any of those old wisdoms at all. They are pretty depressing actually: How many more dark times do I have to go thru? I already appreciate that wonderful times.

Everything you say about spring is so true, tho. I just don't consider it painful. I love spring here: the mud, the backsliding into winter (there always seems to be a big storm of 20 inches more snow in April here). Because thru it all, the birds continue returning and things continue to grow.

---Michael--- said...

Anne Bradstreet, in addition to being perhaps the very first American woman of letters, was a Puritan and was heavily influenced by the thought that life was full of woe. It was the "Great Beyond" that all Puritans were taught by their fiery preachers' sermons to look forward to, and they worried extensively about not being worthy to enter heaven. Anne actually took a comparitively positive and optimistic tone in HER work.

As for my essay itself, it was written heavily tongue-in-cheek, but when you think about it, all of it is true.