BELIEVE it or not, some people just don’t like spring.
It’s not only about the hay fever and allergies, but sometimes something much deeper.
It interrupts routines, confronts us with discomforting promise that demands our attention.
There is something wonderfully profound in this endless story of winter’s ending and spring’s rebirth. Most of us acknowledge that spring symbolises regeneration, renewed life and even hope for the future.
And we know spring fever is a reality.
As Mark Twain said, “When you’ve got spring fever, you want – oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!”
For people who suffer from seasonal affective disorder, spring fever can be particularly pronounced.
One study found some sufferers act as giddy as a puppet on a string this time of year. But they are simply extreme examples of the changes that occur in all of us in spring.
The first day of spring is clearly not the same as the first spring day, especially if you live in Melbourne, Australia. So we live with the promise of real spring. And what joy when the spring miracle finally arrives.
You can feel it, smell it, even perhaps hear spring’s sweet symphony – the song of buds bursting and birds trilling. It inspires a sweet madness.
One radiant spring evening, the writer William Faulkner invited a woman to come to “see a beautiful bride in her wedding dress”.
Driving over back roads, Faulkner turned off into a meadow, where he turned off the car’s headlights and proceeded cautiously into the darkness.
Finally, he stopped the car, turned to his companion, and announced that the bride was standing before them. He turned on the headlights – revealing a beautiful apple tree in full blossom.
That’s how spring fever affects blooming romantics.
There are some, such as Victorian-era novelist Samuel Butler, who have been critical of the season.
He said: “Youth is like spring, an over-praised season”.
The journalistic wit Dorothy Parker complained that “every year spring comes, with nasty little birds, yapping their fool heads off and the ground all mucked up with plants”.
But I prefer comic Robin Williams describing spring as nature’s way of saying “let’s party” and writer Virgil A. Kraft observing that spring shows “what God can do with a drab and dirty world”.
The book of Ecclesiastes points out that there is season for everything – a time for every purpose under the heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to harvest that which is planted.