Sunday, March 20, 2022


At 11:33 a.m. today, the sun will shine directly above the equator, dividing the day into equal hours of light and dark. Spring has come to 2022. Beyond the inevitable increase in sneezing and other allergic afflictions, spring suggests mild temperatures, refreshing rain, pretty plants, colorful flowers, and doing things outdoors more than one did in winter. Before the climate got so hopelessly distorted, spring was a serious season that lasted a predictable amount of time and had its own appropriate attire. (Does anyone remember "spring coats"?) Nowadays, sadly, spring increasingly comes quickly and goes almost as quickly, as winter rapidly turns into summer. Very cold days are soon succeeded by very hot days with only a modest interval in between, the interval we have historically experienced and celebrated as spring.

This year, spring signifies something more. The milder weather that invites one to venture outdoors parallels the milder socio-political environment of rapidly diminishing covid anxiety as more and more restrictions and pandemic precautions are allowed to lapse. My guess is that the rush to unmask may be too rushed, and we may yet regret allowing a selfish "done with covid" mentality to dominate decision-making. In my opinion, the change in our behavior as the pandemic crisis wanes ought to be more cautious - as gradual as the change in the weather once was. Meanwhile, we seem caught between two extremes - a minority marooned in a forever winter in which the maximum precautions continue indefinitely as our "new normal," and a growing majority ready for an early summer in which we carelessly shed all restraints and precautions right way. For myself, I rather wish we were still in some spring-like middle. 

At its best, spring is to be savored as a sign of hope - for our ancestors, hope for a good harvest to see them through another year in this vale of tears; for us, hope for whatever it is we have set our hearts on, at minimum some sort of return to normalcy, whatever that may mean in the new world we now live in. Myself, in many ways more a winter than a summer person, I accept the promise of spring but am content to live in that hope without embracing our changing climate's unseemly rush to summer and our analogous political impatience to be "done with covid."


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