John Eggers: Has spring sprung for you?
I always wanted a cow shed, so a few years ago I built an attachment to a small storage shed in my yard and painted on the door in big letters, “Cow Shed.”
Why did I want a cow shed?
One of my favorite songs that I sing to myself now and then is “Ka,Ka,Ka, Katie.” It goes like this:
She’s the only ga,ga,ga, girl that I adore.
When the ma, ma, ma, moon shines over the cow shed,
She’ll be waiting for me at the ki,ki,ki, kitchen door.”
Isn’t that sweet? I was thinking about that song a few days ago when Katie and I celebrated our 46th anniversary by going to a fast food restaurant. For the first time in our marriage, I brought her a pair of pink socks for an anniversary present. Talk about romantic.
Spring has sprung for you when love is in the air. How can it not be? The birds are whistling their happy tunes. Buds are bursting out all over. If it weren’t for fall, spring would be my favorite season. Author Bern Williams said, “The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day he created spring.” Go ahead and substitute the word “love” for “hope.”
Spring has sprung when you have a lust for life. I can read your mind. You can hardly wait to put your hands in that cool, damp soil, squish it around in your fists, smell it, rub a little bit on your nose and cheeks as if it were the most expensive French perfume. Admit it. You are dying to delve into dirt like those professional women mud wrestlers.
Spring is about having a lust for life. To quote Mark Twain, “It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want -- oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!” Twain is talking about lusting for life.
Spring has sprung for you when you live in the moment. I have been going to a Mindfulness class for a few weeks. As I see it, the purpose of the class is to help you not live “for” the moment rather than “in” the moment. It’s for people like me who can’t focus on just one thing.
Now you would think that after spending many decades on this Earth, I would know all about breathing. After all, I have been doing it for a long, long time. What I learned is that if you want to totally be in the moment, you have to concentrate on your breathing and think about it, focus on it.
It’s too early for me to tell, but I think it works. Isn’t that something? Again, after all of these years, I learned something after I knew it all.
Are you living in the moment? Can you concentrate just on your breathing? You will find that spring will more likely spring for you when you focus on nothing else but your breathing. That’s it.
Spring has sprung for you when you can leave it all behind you. This is a tough one, but you can do it. All of us carry much too much baggage with us. We worry about this, we have regrets about that, and we fret about every little thing.
How does one leave everything behind? My mindfulness teacher would say, “You have to focus on your breathing. Get back to your breathing.” Good idea.
That baggage is much too heavy for us. Spring is time to let loose, wear some pink socks, build a cow shed, take a new class, put your hands in the soil, get down and dirty. You need to, I need to, all of God’s creatures, need to let go. As Robin Williams said, “Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!’”
Spring has sprung when you think about liver. Actually, I hate liver. Eating liver is like eating sand. I just can’t do it.
Spring means sand. You have sand on your car mats, sand on your shoes, sand in your shoes, sand in your entryway, sand in your carpet and on your kitchen floor. All of those little damp granules of damp spring sand stick to your feet like deer ticks and we bring them in wherever we go.
What do you do with sand; you have to clean it up. Spring has sprung for you when you get in the cleaning mood. (I’m sorry I couldn’t find another “L” word that means cleaning so I had to go a roundabout way and start with liver, which led to sand, which led to clean.)
Admit it, you can hardly wait to get at that garage. Many of you are already sharpening up your rakes. Have you made plans for your spring house cleaning? If you are really, really in the mood, wash those sheets and hang them out to dry in the sun. My mother swore there was nothing better than sleeping between sheets hung out in spring fresh cool air. Talk about freshness.
So, has spring sprung for you? Is there love in the air? Has a lust for life taken over your thoughts? Are you living in the moment? Have you left your baggage behind? Has cleaning become a mindset for you?
If you can say “yes” to all of these things (even two or three will do), you will have achieved what Robert Browning wrote:
“The year’s at the spring
And day’s at the morn;
Morning’s at seven;
The hillside’s dew-pearled;
The lark’s on the wing;
The snail’s on the thorn;
God’s in His heaven -
All’s right with the world!”
JOHN R. EGGERS of Bemidji is a former university professor and area principal. He also is a writer and public speaker.