Like most people, I remember exactly where I was the moment that it changed from winter to spring. I was sitting at home, staring the clock, glancing at the sky when it happened. The Earth struck spring and I ran outside, and then quickly ran back in because it was still pretty cold. I guess the change of temperatures is more gradual than that.
One of the obvious signs of spring is that people cease to hide their bodies from the public. Gone are the days when everyone looks like characters in “The Paper Chase,” wearing sleek winter jackets with padded shoulders, and smart scarves. You all thought that you looked pretty cool all bundled up, didn’t you? Well, now you have to hang up your houndstooth and expose the world to your awkward body. Now you won’t have dark, thick clothing to make you look educated and affluent. You’ll have to put across that impression on your own.
I’m really not one to talk, and am not even ready for spring. For months I’ve been strutting around in my cool winter jacket, looking like a young English professor who “gets” his students, and now the weather is too warm for it, and I don’t have a spring jacket to suit up. My last one was horribly tattered and barely made it to the finish line when my winter jacket took over, and I didn’t even think to replace it. And now look at me, between jackets, only able to look overdressed or undressed. If this were the pioneer days, I’d be long dead.
Trees also get to dress differently. After months spent looking like the set in a Tim Burton film, they are finally able to bloom and brag about how naturally beautiful they are. “You think you’re so pretty,” I say to the trees, kicking dirt at them. Then I tell them that they looked way thinner without all these leaves and they immediately begin denuding, which is a tree’s version of throwing up. What a weird paragraph.
What’s wonderful about winter is that it enables all of our negative and self-defeating behaviors, providing us with weather-related excuses to avoid outside activities, social engagements, and anything that would take us away from television or a book or a giant puzzle that ends up being a picture of us looking sad.
Spring places the power in our hands, giving us no excuses to stay home. What kind of nonsense is that? Does anyone really want to hear that they are in complete control of their happiness? That’s too much for any person to bear. When the sun is shining and its warm out, you can be everything you want to be. The sky is the limit, because you can actually see it. It’s a frightening prospect.
For instance, now that I no longer have thick winter clothing to make my out of shape body look thick and strong, I might have to actually lose weight. I just thank God that there’s no such thing as a spring body. There’s only the summer body. Perhaps if I start moving outside in some manner, I could, for the first time in my life, properly align my body with the changing of the seasons. Normally, I have my winter body in summer, my fall body in spring, and my dawn body at dusk (I don’t know what that last example meant).
Oh winter, I will miss you. Your extremely cold temperatures are perfectly suited to my furnace of a body, and I truly appreciate how your consistent coolness kept my sweating at a bare minimum. It’s like you get me, winter. And I will miss the virtual potpourri of accoutrements we humans use to “cope” with you, even though we truly love them: hot chocolate, scarves, boots, fireplaces, defrosters, and winter chains.
Where are your accessories, spring? You’re a blank slate, lacking true warmth or coolness, with no definition or character. It’s like you’re a goddamn substitute teacher.
Perhaps that’s unfair. You do bring with you a fine sight: hummingbirds. Oh, how I love me some hummingbirds! They look like someone is pausing and fast-forwarding footage of a bird. Too big to swat, and too small to shoot – they are some wonderful creatures. Here’s to hummingbirds!
That’s all you get, spring.