Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Spring has spung... or has it?

Last Thursday (March 20) I took Shadowfax (that's my bike) out for my first outdoor ride of 2008.

First things, first, yes, I named my bicycle. All my vehicles have names... no particular reason, other than for fun. If the name of my bicycle sounds familiar to you then you will have one of two assumptions as to it's origin. My bike's namesake character in J.R.R. Tolkien's book The Lord of the Rings. Because Tolkien's Shadowfax is a fearless gray-silver stallion that is the fastest of all horses in Middle-earth. My bike is gray-silver and I like to imagine that I'm fast... although it is a hybrid, so there are few races I'll be winning on MY Shadowfax. I guess there's a world-fusion band out in the world with the same name, but other than my scant knowledge of the band's existence via questions from others, my Shadowfax has no connection to the musical world's Shadowfax.

Second, yes, I've been a wuss about this winter in Iowa. It hasn't consisted so much of complaining. A complaint is a legitimate beef about a circumstance like a fly in your soup. You politely pass on the information to your waiter because you expect something to be done about it to change (hopefully by improvement) the situation. So I call what I've been doing most of this winter in regards to the snow, ice and sub-zero temps whining. Because really, I live in Iowa. If there's anyone I should be complaining to, it's myself. No one is forcing me to live where it gets cold and snowy in the wintertime. So, note to myself... if you have a legitimate beef here, then get off your duff and do something about it or quit your whining. (Note to everyone else, I'm working on a little bit of both!)

But here's the most important part -- SPRING is officially here, even though it appears that Mother Nature and the calendar are still negotiating the details. Despite their harshness, ice, snow and cold, give the world a briefly magical appearance. Everything is covered in white. Then comes spring. Salt and sand, dead leaves, brown hibernating grass and all sorts of litter and critters lost in the strata of all the storms begin to reveal themselves as the frozen layers begin to melt. Despite this supposed ugliness exposing itself, my happiness about spring grows exponentially as more and more road grit sinks into my lawn.

Spring is a funny season, the "middle child" of the seasons, trying to include everyone, sharing some of the characteristics of each of it's siblings in an effort to help everyone get along. Spring is mud and snow duking it out to see which one is better friends with the longer days. Spring colludes with Winter on a practical joke like snow in April (or even May), especially snow on Easter. They sit back, Spring and Winter, watching to see who will laugh.

Spring becomes visible to me prior to the grass waking up and remembering it's usual hue. In winter, trees branches shrink to sharp points, scratching and poking the sky; pins and needles ready to prick snow clouds that come too close. If you're alert when winter starts to pack it's bags, and spring is still just teasing about coming for a visit, you can see the branches plump. The sap begins to flow from somewhere deep inside each tree stretching to the extremities and as they fill, the tips begin to pulsate with life. When that happens, the spring birds can't be too far behind. Soon there will be buds bursting from those pulsating tips, bursting up through the soil from long frozen bulbs. By then many of us will have nearly forgotten our own whining about the snow and ice.

Even though there is still some snow holding out against the lengthened days (as negotiated by the Solstice) I have no legitimate beefs about the weather. I see plump twigs on the trees outside my windows. Shadowfax and I will be out again today.

Winter from my kitchen. Spring from my kitchen.

Posted by Picasa

No comments:

Post a Comment