You can never hold back spring

Spring came quick. One day the birds were back and it seemed like life just resumed. Like everyone had been released from a witch’s spell, that’s how it felt.

He worked in the yard and dug the heels of his hands in his eyes and sighed. For lunch he warmed leftovers and worked his fork and knife over the plate as a mason might work a trowel. There was enough sun he was tempted to throw open the windows. It was coming in at angles it hadn’t for months, lighting up the rugs and floors. He had the garage doors open and put on the radio, loud for a Sunday but no one was around. Outside it still felt plague-like, everyone hiding in their basements or on a plane headed somewhere else, somewhere they could pretend there wasn’t a plague.

The fog had spread over everything, the whole earth. It moved uncaring to smother anything in its way, creeping across homes and yards, play sets, driveways, thinning randomly in some parts, leaving others untouched. It moved with an indiscriminate force, a life of its own. People argued about the fog and what it meant or where it came from or if it was even real. They checked their feeds and started Podcasts. The fog didn’t care.

It had been so long, the fog’s persistence drove people mad. It had a way of blurring and obscuring what they’d always known, they started to question themselves, their common sense. One day it was everywhere and the next, suddenly gone. Then back once again unexpected.

He leaned back so far on the La-Z-Boy recliner he was almost upside down, a Hanged Man. And when he threw the crank the chair thrust him back like a ride at the fair. Now the fog had lifted, replaced by cotton ball clouds lazing across the sky, a herd of floating sheep. Bugs, larva-looking things half spiraled in the dirt. He saw after-images like this when he closed his eyes, bits of life poking through. The Fibonacci pattern in the foxglove petals like blades in a fan. He was there too, crouched, snatching the ground with both hands. Combing the sward of the earth with a hoe. The therapy of weeding, the real-time editing of anomalies and defects. A way to restore the balance. To make believe you could right any wrong.

It was the first Sunday afternoon in February, a day that would begin and end with birds, new birds he hadn’t seen or heard before. And the light was the same as it had been before, the beginnings of that white Zinfandel light mixed with pale blue at the end of the day.

And he felt alive again because that’s what spring does: it makes you remember we all live again no matter what. That we are born into a world of symbols and sense memory, though we may only realize this in dreams. The ancient language of metaphor, none more primal than spring.

Categories: prose, writing

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22 replies

  1. Beautiful! Reminds me of that song made famous by Bill Evans, “You Must Believe in Spring.”

    I’m clinging to the idea that we can right any wrong …

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cling to the idea! Tom Waits has a song by the same title, has been in my head this week. I’ll have a look at the Bill Evans one. Thanks for popping by, Wordle Man! Enjoy the weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice. Very very nice! We have all been in a fog for such a long while…” it seems like years since it’s been clear.” But here comes the sun. Loving every ray.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Spring has started to threaten us also. Colleagues were even, briefly, thinking about eating lunches on terraces.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ya know, other than BB Leroy Brown, I haven’t intersected with Jim Croce much. When I was a kid, we went to Waxie Maxies record shop to buy singles. I bought BBLB with my hard won allowance. It was the Frank Sinatra version and it really sucked. An early lesson for me on imitators. My fingers are crossed that you don’t have pancreatic cancer. That’s not a ‘good’ one to get. But I agree with your doctor, most likely nothing at all.


  5. Hi Bill, you’re probably wondering WTF right? My reader is doing something weird where in the middle of writing a comment, my screen will flash and I’m suddenly commenting on a different blog in my reader. I didn’t notice and posted this comment. Then I had to go looking for it. BTW, it happened again in the middle of this comment, but I caught it before I hit send.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my god that sucks! Sorry to hear that Jeff, well I appreciate the gesture (thank you) and hope you get that sorted out, sounds frustrating. And I hope your other friend doesn’t have pancreatic cancer too! I’m just dicking around here talking about fog and plagues and weeding.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, it’s really frustrating. It happened the other day at work too, so it’s an account problem, not a computer problem. Your posts about fog and plagues and weeding are also important, if not as urgent.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s really strange. Well good luck, hopefully they’re helpful getting it resolved. With any luck it’s happened before and they’ll have a way to fix it.


  6. “Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing — absolutely nothing — half so much worth doing as simply” “dicking around … talking about fog and plagues and weeding”.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Found myself reading slower and slower, and going back to admire and absorb phrases. Beautifully crafted post.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Yet again, I am treated to poetry in motion, absolutely delightful and aesthetic words lending not only a visual appeal but taking me to this awe-inspiring destination, Bill.


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