I should have known better than try to work on the vernal equinox, when the stars align in such a way even Google taunts me with a flowery doodle. Temptation toward frivolity is everywhere: the “largest Italian ice concept in the nation” is giving away free treats, Baltimore is imitating San Diego, the Orioles are… Orioling. These days were not meant for writing.
I went to college in Worcester, MA, not a town known for its warm citizenry or temperature. The College of the Holy Cross is literally sited high on a hill, rather grandiosely known as Mount St. James, that attracts every errant bit of wind to its slopes. Winter in Worcester is a time of howling banshees threatening to either push you down icy stairs (if you’re headed down) or prevent you from climbing up (when you’re headed up). It is, in short, unpleasant. There was no greater threat to my undergraduate education than the inertial tug of warm bed over cold campus.
But there comes, usually much later in the year than March, finally, one day. One day that you step outside and realize your woolen hat is unnecessary. That your peacoat can be discarded. That maybe, just maybe, you can venture out in a t-shirt without risking frostbite. That it’s time to dig down deep in your dresser and unearth those shorts. A day when you find out that pile of scarves in the back of your philosophy class was actually a female student, and an attractive one at that. Spring has come. Time to go back to dodging Frisbees, you dirty hippie. There was no greater threat to my undergraduate education than the lure of warm campus over cold computer. (In retrospect, the threats to my undergraduate education were legion.)
One warm spring day when I was about 13, a family friend said to me, apropos of nothing, “Enjoy this. You only get so many.” His easy way of remembering his own inevitable demise stuck with me, in the way that any offhand remark might just stick with a child. (Cut to parents everywhere grimacing.) Each year since then, when the days warm and the trees bloom, I look, I celebrate. You only get so many.
And because of that, this week, I leave untended proposals to change fire tax rates, unexamined further changes to the proposed teacher pension shift, unconsidered Board of Education candidates. This week, school is out in Harwood Park. If you need me, I’ll be in the backyard.
How are you celebrating the weather? Tell us in the comments.