as published in the Blytheville Courier News on Friday, April 1, 2016
By TOM HENRY
Can’t you just smell the fresh air? Can’t you just feel the warmth of sun upon your skin? Doesn’t it just lift your spirits and give you renewed hope that your life will be better tomorrow than it has been in the past?
Spring brings such great things each year, like March Madness, April showers and May flowers, the beginning of baseball and all the hope that a new season brings.
Easter baskets and bonnets, color, smiles, green grass and colorful leaves…fishing and even camping, swimming and day trips.
Certainly spring gives us renewal, hope, new birth, backyard barbecues, “twitterpated” animals and all that is good, youthful and promising.
American novelist Ernest Hemingway said, “When spring comes, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest.”
Hemingway was right. We have so many more options laid out before us once we can come out of dark, dusty, dank, depressing hibernation. What are you going to do this weekend? Are you already making plans? If not, why not?
Russian writer Leo Tolstoy said, “spring is the time of plans and projects.”
Anyone with a honey knows what a “honey do list” is. But those projects, though exhausting, often create the memories that stay with you the longest and remain the most vibrant in our hearts.
Putting in a new floor in our home was one of the most exhausting efforts I’ve ever made. Every muscle in my aging body hated me and punished me for days, but the pride, sense of accomplishment and fun of collectively doing the project is one that my family will long remember. Same with the time we spent painting….oh, don’t forget about the dry-walling…and clearing up the back yard! Oh, where did all those dead leaves come from?
Canadian writer Margaret Atwood admonishes us to be active participants in spring and not to park in the winter state of mind, “In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.”
Parents, you have to grab your children by the scruff of their necks and kick them outside. Everyone needs sun, air and the exercise that comes with being outside. Personal accountability, teamwork, family bonding and many other things are taught in these activities.
Perhaps the biggest lesson that spring gives us though and one that you must not miss is explained to us by poet Anne Bradstreet, “If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we didn’t sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.”
Spring reminds us that while it might be darkest before the dawn…dawn does finally arrive. Spring reminds us to dare believe we can start again and build the colorful life we’ve always dreamed of. What are you planting in your “garden” called life?
I’d love to hear about how you and your family are enjoying the warmth, hope and possibility that comes with spring.