Spring, a change for the better



We’re starting to see a few signs of spring.  The warning signals usually start below ground or just above it.  I’ve seen one-inch-tall iris bulbs in front of a neighbor’s house, and the moles in a nearby park are excavating very quickly, as if they are part of a crew that will get paid only when it completes the job of destroying a lawn.  Six inches above ground my candytuft is beginning to bloom. And on a walk today,  I spotted the first two yellow blossoms on a forsythia bush.  Later in the month I’m expecting fruit trees to flower.

The other signal of an impending change of season is that it is possible to walk outdoors without an umbrella (now and then).  I haven’t looked in a clothing store recently (I wear a variation on the same outfit every day), but I’m sure that swimsuits will be coming soon to a display window near you, near all of us.

In the Northwest, spring arrives early, but never early enough. Three months of dark, cloudy, windy, and/or rainy days, and we’ve all had enough of winter.  By February, teenagers, fed up with the gloom, are putting on their shorts and flip-flops regardless of the temperature. Primroses are everywhere — even though they may freeze or drown in a few weeks.  Sunglasses come out if the sun even hints that it’s going to shine. Neighbors crawl out of their houses into their gardens and start to attack winter’s weeds.

I subscribe to The Writer’s Almanac, which sends me a daily poem. I admit that some days reading them becomes a chore, but other times they provide a perfect theme for the day. Today’s was called “Sonnet: Daffodils,” by Gavin Ewart.  Ewart refers to the first arriving daffodils as exhibitionists rising from the dead, but says that when many more bloom, and we are surrounded by a profusion of yellow they become trite and we stop noticing them.

“Like a love affair fading
they shrivel and go crinkly, papery and tired.
The Spring too (teenagers witness) has its own kind of

My first thought was that I could never get bored with spring. I didn’t sustain that one for long, because I moved on to the lines about shriveling and then growing crinkly, papery and tired.  They stand out because they’re an apt description of old age.  Here’s hoping that for all of us who will turn crinkly and tired some day, we too will find a way to emerge again every spring, not from the ground, but in what we’ve left behind and in the minds of people who knew us.

About stillalife

I retired June 30, 2010 after working for 40 years in the field of education and most recently doing school public relations/community outreach in a mid-size urban school district. I wrote for superintendents and school board members. Now I'm writing for me and I hope for you. In this blog, I offer my own views coupled with the latest research on how to preserve our physical and mental health as we age, delve into issues most of us over 50 can relate to like noticing wrinkles and forgetting where we left our keys, discuss the pros and cons of different ways to engage our minds and bodies after we leave the workplace, and throw in an occasional book review, all peppered with a touch of humor, irony, and just plain silliness. Also, I'm on the third draft of my second novel since retirement.
This entry was posted in aging, aging and appearance, seasons and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Spring, a change for the better

  1. Jill Turnell says:

    This is a spring I am looking forward to with greater anticipation than usual, as I wait to see the new bushes in my new back yard come into bloom.

  2. Hi Ann! My name is Maegan Badham and I’m the Administrative Assistant in Publications for AVID Center. I’ve been trying to get in contact with you regarding a review you wrote, that we would like to get permission to use at our 2013 AVID Summer Institutes and Path Trainings.

    You can reach me at mbadham@avidcenter.org or by phone at 858-380-4097. I look forward to speaking with you to discuss this opportunity!
    Thank you!

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