My Personal Spring

My headline today is a twist on an inside family joke of sorts. For a long time, Marge has referred to hot flashes as her “personal summer.” I sympathize without the ability to empathize. “Manopause,” my own stage of life, does not include personal summers.

I do, however, have a personal spring, and it arrived yesterday. The pile of snow at the end of the driveway, at least six feet tall back in January, is completely gone. The last patch of it trickled away some time around 3:00 o’clock yesterday afternoon. I doubt that anyone except me marked its passing.

Last winter there was a lot of snow everywhere in Maine, so I’m not exactly sure why I have attached so much significance to one particular pile of it. It must be partly because that snow pile made backing out of my driveway hazardous for months. It was still chest high when the calendar announced the official arrival of spring last month. It was also the last holdout of winter on this street. Somehow I haven’t been able to feel spring in my soul while that snow pile was still visible.

Black FlyHere in northern New England, of course, it is always necessary to qualify the word “spring” in some way. This is a three season place. The reality is that we move from late winter to the season of spring yard work. Spring yard work gives way, around Mother’s Day, to black fly season, which we share with our neighbors to the North. By the end of black fly season, summer will have begun. In Maine, we enjoy summer, fall and winter. We have no spring, at least not of the sort known in much of the rest of the country.

Maybe that’s the real reason I’ve made up my own.

2 Replies to “My Personal Spring”

  1. Thanks for stopping by, Naomi. You’re right about e.e. cummings. I find that a lot of those poems I used to love seem just silly these days, but the man had a grownup side, too, and a razor sharp sensibility.

    About 15 years ago, I took a few computer science classes at the local university. The text for the C++ programming course contained part of a cummings poem (Buffalo Bill’s defunct…) as an illustration of how the programming language handled strings of text.

    I read the poem fragment in the text and rattled off the rest of the poem from memory. The student next to me, about 19 years old, looked at me quizzically. “Why would you want to know that?” he asked.

    What? I still don’t have an answer for that question!

    Anyway, I may go back and read more e.e. cummings myself.


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