Jimbob's Journal
by Jim Harris

At long last, Spring. For those of us lucky enough to live in a place with four distinct seasons, it is the light at the end of a long, dark tunnel, an anxiously awaited period of love, languor and beauty. It is a time long celebrated in song, painting and poetry. I am reminded of the words of one ancient poet (me); "Behold the gentle flower, Her presence brings me cheer, She grows in my opinion, More beautiful each year". To me, each Spring seems to be a little more precious, a little more magical than the last. We only get a few dozen of them (if we're lucky), and as everyday demands and responsibilities pile up, it's all too easy to let them slip by unnoticed.

When I was a young nonconformist, I fancied Autumn because I thought it was poignant and bittersweet. Now that my life has become poignant and bittersweet, I prefer the season of hope and possibilities. It's humbling how the steady, unflinching march of nature can wear down your rough edges and put you in your proper place. There are no fashions, fads, or gimmicks in nature. The 2001 apple tree is pretty much the same as the 2000 model. The peacock has been wearing the same Spring coat for thousands of years, and it still looks great.

As Monty Python might have put it, I belong to the "Royal Society for Seeing Things in Other Things". I believe, as many native legends profess, that everything in nature has a lesson to teach. Every great scientist, philosopher and artist learned from nature, and so can we all. You can see the movement of the Earth in a twinkling night sky, or the glue of galaxies in a falling apple. Everything reflects something else in a universal symphony of senses. If your heart is open, and you look hard enough, you can even see your own reflection in the stately majesty of a tree or the heroic struggle of a spider holding her web against a howling wind. In this world of symbols, I think none is more ideal or comforting than that of Spring. It is the embodiment of rebirth and continuity, and an annual boost to our flagging spirits.

You almost never hear anyone say, "Oh boy, Winter's coming". I find this ironic, since I figure that mankind rose to prominence in Winter. The plants, died, the leaves fell off the trees, and we got cold and hungry. The animals had nowhere to hide, so we ate them and made their skins into fancy garments. The next thing you know, we're building skyscrapers and drilling for oil (don't quote me on this, my chronology could be a little off). Anyway, now that the winter of our discontent has given way to Spring fever, it is - hopefully - a kinder, gentler world for all.

So get out there and experience this lovely spectacle. If you wait until your life is serene or blissful or until you have more money or a better job, you might never do it at all. Spring is here for you. It's free and it's everywhere. No excuses. Go climb a tree, lay in a field, or sniff some wildflowers. Listen to the birds. Times-a-wastin'

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