By Arthur H. Gunther III
With Daylight Savings Time officially installed, the one hour we lost from sleep over the weekend has been quickly forgotten in my parts of the Northeast, 20 miles or so from New York City. But Gotham has had nothing to do with the wonderful freshness of what soon has to be spring.
Though winter may still show itself in cold and snow, it lost some of its icy tongue in recent high 40s temperatures and must inevitably see its potency whither. Winter must move on, just as fall did. Queen of the mountain will be spring in all its fragrance, showering of color, crops beginning, longer days and the promise of renewal in body and spirit.
Years ago, even before I learned the calendar, and certainly eons back when there were none, spring announced itself not so much by date but by a single whiff escaping winter’s breath, a distinct freshness not unlike the smell of wash your mother hung out on clotheslines, if you were lucky enough to have one who did.
Walking home from school in those days I knew — we knew — it was spring, or the promise of it, when we carried our winter coats. We had been buttoned up morning-side, with scarf, but the sweat began flowing in the warmer sun at about 2:30 dismissal time, the warmth itself a teaser that beyond even spring is the hot summer.
My longings, thankfully, have been few in this life, but if I had to add to those unfulfilled, it would never be a lack of seasons. Though I may not always chill out over winter’s cold, and though heat and humidity are never my friends, the beauty of a fresh snowfall, the crispness of leaves fallen and, especially, the potential that is every spring tells me I must never leave where I am.
The writer is a retired newspaperman who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org This essay may be reproduced.