At The Atlantic Wire, we like all the seasons. Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall, all you have to do is call, and they may not answer, but you know they'll appear down the road, just when you need them the most. And so it is with Spring. It's been quite the Winter, hasn't it? It seemed Winter would never leave us be; she just kept creeping back, popping up again like a bad penny or that ex who kept calling and calling and calling no matter how many times we said it just wasn't working out. And then calling. But anyway! Winter. She's gone, right? She's left us be, and in her stead, here is intelligent, gentle, nurturing, witty, beauteous, sun-on-your-face, breezes-in-your-hair, delightful Spring.
Yes, technically Spring began on March 20, and she will last until, technically, June 20. But you know those are arbitrary dates based on a calendar. The real seasons go by temperature. That means by June, we will be deep in Summer, most likely. And at the end of March, Winter still had us in her clutches. Today, however, today is Spring. She is here!
In New York City, you can see her impact upon us. People are going without coats. In their eyes, there is kindness, at least, for the moment, if you catch them above ground. There's a spring, because it's Spring, in our steps. We're all just a little happier somehow, a little more light-hearted and full of la dee dah and vigor, and it's not only because maybe we just got paid and it's a Friday. It's also because the weather is ever so pleasant—not too hot, not too cold—but really, it's beyond pleasant. The air feels almost like your skin, and walking through the street is like taking a dip in a pool that's the exact perfect temperature for you and only you. It's perfect, and we all know it's fleeting, which makes the perfection all the more valuable. We don't get many days like this, as those of us who have been on this planet in these urban environments for a few years or so well know.
A month from now there will be the first 80 degree day, maybe even a heat wave in a month or two, and we will look at each other with sweat dripping down our faces and scowl. "Climate change!", we will say. "It's disgusting out!" "I hate this weather!" Maybe it's humid; maybe it's dry like the desert, maybe we feel sticky even though we just showered. "This weather is too damn hot!," we will say. Everything will seem more difficult as we trudge through the subways like earthworms moving through molasses, and we will be cranky and sucking down ice coffees to keep us from boiling over, mentally and emotionally, but the caffeine won't really help, because it's not enough to combat Summer. We will not know what to wear that keeps us comfortable both inside the freezing, air-conditioned office, and also outside in the many, many degrees of hotness. We will sweat, and toil, and go home weary, and count our mosquito bites sustained in evenings spent in fetid dark bars where we go to catch just a bit of cool before heading home, where we may or may not have an air conditioner, again.
Think not of that. Think now, for the moment, that life is great. It is 60-some degrees and fair, according to the Weather Channel, but we need no channel to tell us that. It's Spring! This means you may, without fear of judgment, do any and all of the following: Spend tomorrow in the park drinking white wine or painting a picture or reading a book or napping or all of the above. Eat lobster rolls. Drink all the pink wine you can find, wherever you may be; drink it, drink it down! Go to sports events wearing visors, if you must. Wear pink pants. Wear white pants (we're loose with that "Memorial Day" rule). Allow your insides to churn with the excitement of what will happen this summer. Plan for your "summer house" if that's your thing. Wear light jackets instead of heavy wool coats. Take your heavy wool coat to the cleaners, finally, it really needs it. Stop wearing socks every damn day. Consider open-toed shoes. Plan a trip. Adopt a caterpillar, or maybe a kitten. Consider—but don't jump the gun on—flip flops. Get a haircut. Take on a new lover. Make a new friend. Stop and smell some daffodils, they're popping up just like Winter used to! Buy some fresh flowers for your apartment, just to watch them die (but while they live they will make you feel that things are possible)! Plan for and execute some hard-core al fresco brunching. Plan for drinks with friends, also in the out-of-doors. Get to the gym. You're going to feel good about that in about a month.
Also: Determine who your summer relationship will be, should you want one, and get started laying down the groundwork for that; you can't start in June and expect everything to happen just because you snapped your fingers. Smile at a stranger, and don't even feel creepy about it! Buy some new books. Listen to the mailman when he tells you it's gorgeous out, go out and enjoy it, this isn't going to last forever! Practice whistling in the out of doors. Do not, do not, think about allergy season, not yet. Clap when a subway performer does something lovely. Pet a dog. Stare at a cat like you know it. If you're around some cherry blossoms, go see some cherry blossoms! Do some cleaning, you know, that overhaul-my-life type of cleaning that makes you feel so good and productive, with the windows open and the fresh air streaming in. Start saving the hot coffee you don't drink in the morning in the fridge for ice coffee. Throw out garbage bags full of your old life, ridding yourself of the things you no longer want in your new one, and make sure to put them in the appropriate garbage disposal area of your building because there's no sense getting fined for that. Outdoor concerts, start thinking about those. Take your bike out of storage. Go on a very long walk, to wherever your feet will take you, to see what will be seen. Cook a dinner, maybe even a healthy one, with something green in it (omg ramps!?); get ready for the good tomatoes, they're just around the corner, and the good tomato sandwiches; pull out your favorite sunglasses and wear them around your house, just as a warm-up.
Above all else, if you've got lingering things that must be done hanging on you like old tinsel dangling from a desiccated Christmas tree, brush them off, get them done, move on. You are a sapling. The world is new to you, no matter how old you are. It's Spring. Enjoy her while you can. (Tomorrow looks gorgeous, too.)
Inset via Flickr/Michael Sarver.