I’m sitting here in my office chair, at my office desk, my hands cupped to the back of my head, elbows up and to the side, staring out the glass office door where the stenciled letters spelling AUTO, HOME, BUSINESS & LIFE INSURANCE are backwards to me so the passersby on the sidewalk heading down to the 7-11 can properly read it and perhaps come in and spoil my reverie while I am thinking, “Well … another springtime is here.”
I’m also imagining how someone, staring at me from one of the apartment windows in the complex across Columbus Street, might wonder at my hands so placed behind my head, my elbows high and out, my well-toned lats filling that part of my Hawaiian shirt and at the glazed look in my eyes, whether I might, instead, be a huge Monarch butterfly fresh-slithered from my chrysalis, which he can’t see, owing to the distance and also the fact that my former springtime home lies like a discarded garment at my feet, hidden behind my big, impersonal insurance desk.
Oh, yes it is most definitely spring.
My imagination flutters me about the room, dipping and rising and soaring and fluttering, and the man in the apartment has now vacated his window falsely believing he had not been staring at a butterfly at all, but an old insurance man sitting in his chair behind his desk.
* * *
I’ve experienced probably sixty springtimes, nearly all of which I might remember the magic of, if I really put my mind to it. Even if I were to try to recapture the memory of the springtimes earlier than that, it would be irrelevant. Why? Because you don’t need springtime when all of childhood—assuming it is not meddled with—is tender and fresh. All life is magic, or should be, to the pre-teen child.
My reality is that I’m 73 years old. But, then again, no one who’s reading this is likely to be cavorting around in the tender, fresh wonder of childhood, either.
So, I’m thinking we all need our springtimes. Am I right? What does springtime conjure up in your mind? Spring cleaning? Or, Easter? And, isn’t springtime the most popular season to marry? How about planting time? And, dare we omit nestlings chirping in the trees, or, butterflies flitting from flower to flower? What have I forgotten?
One doesn’t have to go too far to find the common thread running through all these? Springtime is a time of new beginnings.
At the risk of belaboring the obvious with the above statement, I’d like to take it a step further and suggest that the first day of spring should be the true New Year’s Day. Sure, a few things would have to be tweaked, but I’d wager that once done, the rational mind of man would have a closer association with the truth of new beginnings that reside in man’s soul. And, because of that … I’d wager another thing: our New Year’s resolutions would have a far better chance of succeeding because our souls are already geared toward change, improvement, betterment.
We’d have to do something about the college bowl games. I’ll put my people on it.
* * *
How do the seasons play out in our creative life? As a writer I wonder, is it just me, or do the fresh sprouts nudging the soil of our creative minds seem more abundant now? Notwithstanding, we may be still pregnant with undelivered projects of springs and summers past that we’ve been pushing through one more exhausting winter of fitful contractions.
No one said creative project-bearing would be easy!
And, now, as if to confound us, these new ideas are germinating in our minds with surprising ease and are as fresh as a peach-blossom-wafted breeze. With that tingling in our nostrils who could be blamed for wanting to take a break from all the pushing and grunting?
(Can I hear some of you complaining that the old coot is waxing awfully poetic? Well, you young whippersnappers, springtime’s the reason. Blame it on springtime!)
Complaints aside, though, are we beginning to see there just might be a downside to springtime for the creative mind I hope you’ll explore that with me next time.
Until then … be kind to old men and young butterflies.
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