Friday, March 19, 2004


Spring in the Pacific Northwest is a mess of subtle contradictions, like mismatched socks under long slacks. It can be sunny, windy, rainy, freezing, or even snowing, all in one day. But much has already been written of our region's fickle weather.

It's the kind of weather that inspires the outfit I'm wearing today: a paper-thin souvenir t-shirt from a Caribbean island covered with a long-sleeved sweater; thick wool socks and flip-flops. The thermostat in my house says it's staying put at 60'F (being set around 52'F to avoid increased electric bills), though it hardly feels a degree over 55. The sun shines through my iron-clad bedroom window, casting a prison-motif shadow across the red and pale blue pillowcases, yet I am unsatisfied with the climate and won't work in the yard or take a walk to return videos. Yet.

Spring is, to me, a transient time, one that flies, one that's forgotten, one where things only begin to happen. It's winter and summer where the actual doing occurs, where memories are made. The trouble with spring, as opposed to that other transient season, fall, is that it occurs to soon after the new year. We begin the year in winter, incidentally, full of new hopes and dreams and goals and plans, but all too often fail to get started on the real legwork for them until spring starts making itself evident.

"Oh, I'd love to garden," I tell myself, "but it's too cold now to start the beds. I don't have money to buy the necessary equipment. Let's wait 'til spring."

And now spring is here.

I've started, at least. But nothing going to happen until it's summer. Because summer is when things actually happen.

Spring is for announcements--like the Pixies playing Bumbershoot--for watching TV, for reading books, for doing crosswords. For just passing the time until things can actually happen. Like graduation, and ending my academic career in favor of a real career. Whatever that may be.

I can only hope I won't flit through that season like some extension of spring, wearing wool socks with flip-flops and wondering when it's going to rain.

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