by Kevin Burton
Little darling, welcome to sunshine. Welcome to new beginnings.
We have breaking news on Page 7 today and it’s news you can use: In the northern hemisphere, spring begins tomorrow at 10:33 a.m. Central Time USA.
You might be in church at that time, so you can let your guttural scream out sometime today in anticipation.
Wasn’t a big fan of springing forward last week, losing an hour of sleep. But that did catapult us to spring one hour faster.
Entering spring is like crossing a county line. It doesn’t really mean all that much. It is easy to overlook. But spring has always been a powerful symbol of renewal
I’ve got “Here Comes The Sun” as the soundtrack of spring this year. I would have that wouldn’t I? What a gem of a song. Good things happened when the Beatles listened to George Harrison.
The song represents a little respite from the drug trips and rebellion on many Beatles tracks, and speaks to everyone who would care to, or need to, pause and drink it in.
Harrison was writing about getting through a time when the joy of music had turned into the Beatles becoming businessmen, signing papers having meetings.
You have your own struggles, your own personal sky in need of some honest to goodness sunshine.
How I wish we were only talking about weather as we look back on our individual and collective long, cold, lonely winters. We are still in the Covid era, the longest, coldest, loneliest season of my lifetime.
Melting a layer of ice and snow, that’s easy.
“Spring won’t let me stay in this house any longer,” said Gustav Mahler. “I must get out and breathe the air deeply again.”
Formerly words to live by, just now potentially words to die by. But even that is not so simple. We have variants but we have vaccines. We have science but we have ignorance.
If the virus went “poof” today, or simply melted away under the warmth of Harrison’s guitar, it would leave behind a crust of hard feelings at least in my country. The USA seems bent on division and self-destruction.
It gives me pause in even reaching for Here Comes the Sun as a musical sign of the season.
But in the end, I am reaching. If I am not reaching for that renewed sunshine, what does that say about me? That I have given up, stopped trying?
“A flower blossoms for its own joy,” said Oscar Wilde. Who wants to be left out of that?
So let’s say you are making a video. You need to string together three minutes and six seconds worth of images to create your personal Here Comes the Sun statement?
What will you use?
Most of us will have some sunshine for sure. Probably some flowers, parks or fields. But what images will you use to give it your personal signature?
The smiles returning to the faces. That’s got to be there somehow. But what is it that is bringing on those smiles?
Maybe there is some activity you have been staying away from because of the virus. Maybe you have found a safe way to resume it. That will bring back the smiles for sure.
Spring still means baseball for me, though that connection grows much weaker to older I get. So I would probably show some clips of players stretching or running wind sprints in spring training.
Maybe I would play snippets from loved ones. Life’s greatest hits. Keep it upbeat. Stuff that points forward, keeps it real but dares to hope.
“It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart,” said Austrian poet and novelist Rainer Maria Rilke.
And here’s a piece from “You’re Doing Just Fine,” by Charlotte Eriksson.
“Take a shower. Wash away every trace of yesterday. Of smells. Of weary skin. Get dressed. Make coffee, windows open, the sun shining through. Hold the cup with two hands and notice that you feel the feeling of warmth. You still feel warmth.”
“Now sit down and get to work. Keep your mind sharp, head on, eyes on the page and if small thoughts of worries fight their ways into your consciousness: threw them off like fires in the night and keep your eyes on the track. Nothing but the task in front of you.”
Eriksson goes on in that vein for a while, challenging us treat common things with uncommon wonder and appreciation.
Is it possible? Could the first day of spring be the first day of something more?