Whistling with a shoe full of slush……………

        Postings have been uninspired of late–but here is my latest newspaper column:

“Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush.”  ~ Doug Larson

          This week ushers in a much anticipated spring and hopefully rushes the winter that seems never-ending out the door. We have been promised temperatures in the 40’s (for those of you who are not of a certain age or have embraced centigrade—I guess we should be getting to around 7 or 8 degrees and maybe {cross your fingers} a balmy 10.) Sounds almost tropical compared to the temperatures we have been experiencing of late.

          Doug Larson, a Wisconsin columnist in the 50’s and 60’s, captures this spring perfectly—slush in our shoes is not going to stop us from clutching the promise of spring to our breast. We are ready to cast off our layers of clothing, our boots, our hats, our mitts and our long underwear and encase our feet in sandals, and our bodies in something other than wool and fake fur. I am ready to pack away my heavy boots and don running shoes for my daily walk (which of late has not been all that daily—I shun the cold and the wet and the slippery).

          This winter of my discontent has not been kind to my waistline—comforting and warming myself with food has led to a discomforting weight gain. As the sun warms the land, I plan on filling my plate with food of sustenance instead of consoling and pacifying carbs and sweets and fat.

          I met the poet, Christina Rossetti, in an English course or two. She had probably gone through a winter in the 19th century that is similar to the one we have been suffering in the 21st when she penned this poem:

“I wonder if the sap is stirring yet,
If wintry birds are dreaming of a mate,
If frozen snowdrops feel as yet the sun
And crocus fires are kindling one by one:
Sing robin, sing:
I still am sore in doubt concerning Spring.”

          Her misgivings about spring are certainly easy to understand given the fact that winter does not seem to want to loosen its grasp. Perhaps though we will appreciate the warmth more when spring finally arrives, no longer curse the groundhog for his truth, and complain less when it gets hot (unlikely—I make no such vow).  Spring will kindle thankfulness for all that is green and bright and warm.

          I have already girded my loins (I seem to be channelling Shakespeare today) in defence of  the fact that spring may be somewhat shy at first—giving us glimpses of lovely days to come, then retiring to let us stew in the inevitable last days of cold. But I am a proud Canadian, and this winter has made me understand what those in the most of the rest of Canada already know—that hockey reigns supreme (yay Olympics and hometown girl Meghan) and a little cold will not kill us.

          My spring coloured wreath hanging on my front door is still waiting to no longer be a discordant note—it is hung to herald a reluctant spring, and no matter how long it takes—its pinks and greens will soon join the chorus of other spring colours and not stick out like a sore thumb in the white snow. It proclaims, announces and foreshadows things to come (yes I am using my thesaurus again).

          One of the best descriptions of spring I have read is the one I will leave you with. It is from The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett:

          “Is the spring coming?” he said. “What is it like?”…

          “It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine…”

What is your definition of spring?

Published in: on March 18, 2014 at 1:08 pm  Comments (8)  
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