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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Dissonance in spring

The neighborhood robins anxious to begin breeding and the blooming forsythia, Bradford pears, daffodils, and Japanese apricots that are widespread in Raleigh say spring has come. Most people appear to love spring. It's my least favorite season.

The dissonance was always there, and in my 30s I finally became aware of it. Since then I have wondered why but found only a few tentative explanations. When I was very young, it seemed like something tragic happened every spring. Later on, spring meant the end of school; I loved school and found summers dreadly boring. Montgomery County, Alabama has one tornado every other year on average, and about half of them occur in March, April, or May — a scary time. May was the month when temperatures there climbed above 90, the start of prolonged discomfort in houses without air conditioning.

My senior years have bestowed a more balanced view of spring and an appreciation of the beauty it offers (plus the start of baseball). Still I find myself on guard against irrational exuberance as though I have an internal censor. That which is born in spring will eventually pass. It's not the birth itself, rather the living that matters.