Thoughts on Spring


I was sitting in my bed the other night, unable to sleep and staring at the only picture I have taped to the walls in my room (full disclosure: it’s a picture of my cats–Jack and Murphy). So naturally, following my brain’s bizarre stream of consciousness, thinking of my cats makes me think of windows. I guess that’s actually not all that bizarre of a leap–how cliche is the imagery of a cat staring out of a window at a bird flapping by? Thinking about windows led me to start thinking about sunspots on the floors in my house–little polygon-shaped blotches of light and warmth painted over ice-laden slabs of wood and tile. Spring, I then thought, is the sunspot of the four seasons.

Spring follows winter, which, most notably here in Upstate New York (now considered to be the coldest area of the continental US), leaves most of us a little frozen from the inside out. Days are short and snow is  incessantly faintly falling from charcoal skies, falling faintly onto our coats and hats as we trudge to class and work.

Spring then precedes Summer, which leaves most of us worn down and colored red from the talk of the sun. Days are long and the heat and humidity swallows us effortlessly as we trudge to class and work.

So in between Winter and Summer, we have Spring–a patch of warmth that begins to melt the ice and snow, making way for the fever and green-blue hues  of the Summer months. In the Spring we sit outside, on top of blankets of warmth that slowly thaw the brisk air and earth. Through the window pane of Spring, we watch the world turn, as the sun sets slower, trees grow fuller, and skies turn bluer. Spring is an unmistakable and beautiful season of transition, welcomed with open arms by most.

The trouble with Spring, though, is that it’s a sunspot–it’s a lie, a ploy, and a ruse. Following the barren days of Winter, where trees are stripped from their color and dignity and the air is thin and dry, its edges serrating the insides of our noses and our throats, until we taste blood in our morning cups of coffee and tea,  it is impossible not to think of the world as beautiful in the midst of a Spring afternoon. In the Winter we see everything clearly, but in the Spring realities are easily hidden behind blooming flora and an overwhelming stain of sunshine that forces us to permanently squint our eyes. Preceding the heavy days of Summer, where sweat rolls down our necks and backs and drowns us where we stand and the sun weighs down on us until the late hours of the night, it is impossible not to look back at the light-hearted days of Spring and pine for their return.

In the Winter and the Summer we see the world for what it is: empty and desolate, overbearing and enveloping. I’m not saying that these days are not beautiful, that the world is not beautiful; I’m saying that in these days we are forced to look for the elegance and grace of life. In Winter and Summer we must have minds of Winter and we must have minds of Summer to find the beautiful in the harsh realities of these seasons. In the Spring, however, we are handed our cravings for beauty without any effort or regard on our parts.  We look outside and we see, through a window of delusion, a flawless existence: flowers of purple and yellow mingling peacefully with light green grass pedals, while birds sing one million songs without muttering a single word. In the Spring we simply walk out of our lodgings and, without trial or tribulation, are confident that we are living extraordinary lives.

Spring is the cruelest season. We sit in a polygon-shaped plot of deceit, shielded from Winter’s whip and protected from Summer’s stick. Spring is the sunspot of the seasons.