Edward Southerland: Where's spring?
By Edward Southerland
Apr 21, 2017
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I supposed weíve got that damned groundhog to blame. But itís been almost six weeks since he saw his shadow and scurried back underground condemning the rest of us to six more weeks of winter, so things ought to be warming up.

The robins, a traditional harbinger of spring, have made an appearance, but some of them are wearing mufflers and those aerobic leg warmers, so plainly theyíre hedging their bets. The gnarly old tree outside my bathroom window hasnít invested any effort in buds yet; maybe it knows something too. Even the blue bonnets and Indian-paint brushes that will blanket the Texas roadsides are biding their time.

Itís tried to warm up a couple of times. I got so hopeful I that packed up the space heater, but then just when you think it safe to put the extra blanket up on the top shelf of the closet, it chills down again. This morning, very early, I woke up cold and had to add a layer to the bed. That made it so nice and toasty under the covers that it was a struggle to get up at the usual time, so I didnít.

Nature has been sneaky in other ways too. With the sun shining brightly though the windows, casting the black striped shadows of the blinds cross the wall and carpet making the room look like a set from a 1940s film noir movie, I leave my jacket on the hook and head out. Itís not far enough from the portal to the car door to notice the breeze or the chill in the breeze, but later in the day, when I strike out in search of something or the other, I notice itís cold. I should have brought the jacket.

I usually hold that fall is my favorite time of year, but really, Iím more like the leprechaun in Finnianís Rainbow who sang, ďWhen Iím not near the girl I love, I love the girl Iím near.Ē Iím sort of like that about seasons.

Coming out of winter, even one that has been relatively mild as this last one, the beckoning spring has a mighty strong pull on oneís loyalties. But the late spring will pass too quickly, and most of us, the grown ups at least, won'tt take the time to give spring its due.

The spring I was in the second grade, I would leave Bailey Inglish School each afternoon and walk homeótwo blocks down Center to Eighth and then about eight blocks west. A couple of blocks down Eighth, the telephone company was constructing a new building that would bring dial telephones to Bonham and subtract from the telephoning equation the operator who said ďNumber, Please,Ē when you picked up the receiver.

At the building site was a giant hole in the ground, something unusual in a part of the world where basements were a rarity. To me it looked like the Grand Canyon, and I would pause each day in my journey home to peer down into the hole and watch the workmen doing whatever they were doing.

Satisfied that all was going well, I would continue on, kicking pebbles as part of a self-devised game, stopping to look at bugs crawling along on some important bug mission, or watching flying things hover over the flowers that were beginning to bloom. You could smell spring in the grass and those flowers. It seems that spring, like the walk home, lasted longer then, but so did everything else.