“All stories have their endings in their beginnings, if you know where to look.” – from Hickory, by Palmer Brown.
I’ve never really loved Spring. My favorite season has always been Autumn – I love the colorful leaves of October and how they lead into the muted tones of November. I love apple trees and pumpkin seeds and Halloween and Thanksgiving. I love the chill in the air, the emergence of Christmas lights, cozy sweaters, and everything else. Fall feels like festivity, fun, and family.
But Spring never really stood out to me as anything special.
After consulting my mother about my mysterious ambivalence towards Spring, I have a theory about this. The first is that when I was growing up, we didn’t really have long Spring seasons. We had spectacular Autumns, hot Summers, and long, cold Winters. Spring would show up for about a day, and then immediately turn into Summer. We could go from shoveling snow to a pool party in two weeks flat. I remember one year where I wore shorts and snow boots, because it was warm out, but the snow was so densely packed from a winter full of storms that it hadn’t yet melted. Spring began when it was far too cold, and ended with blistering sunburns.
But in the past few years, I’ve started to come around on Spring. Enjoying weeks of light jackets, pastel colors, drizzly days, and gentle sunshine is a major part of it, but most of all, I love the flowers. Where I live now, I’m surrounded by flower beds, flower bushes, and tons and tons of flowering trees. Spring is fast becoming something I look forward to and romanticize.
I haven’t quite attuned myself to the aesthetic feeling of Spring just yet, but I’m working on it. I’ve found a pair of rain boots that actually keep my feet dry when I jump into puddles, I’ve got the perfect jacket, I’ve gotten into a Spring reading routine, and I’ve started taking allergy medications regularly.
But for every other season I have color associations, perfect culinary choices, appropriate music, and favorite activities that must be done each and every year when the time comes. I’m still not completely sure what characterizes “Spring” for me.
This year, I’ve been listening to Steve Martin’s Banjo album The Crow: New Songs for the Five String Banjo, painting a lot, and eating a lot of Mexican food. I’m not sure any of these things are related to Spring, but they’re working for me.
But what I’m really learning to love about Spring comes back to the Palmer Brown quote at the top of this post. I’ve always thought of Spring as the end of something – the end of the school year, usually. Summer was an interim time, a break from reality. And Fall was a beginning. The fresh, crisp air signified the return of school and scheduled time. I’m learning now, though, to see things as they overlap. Beginnings don’t always come after a break. Sometimes they come while something else is still ending, and the trick is less about finding clear markers, and more about learning to flow through the changes.