Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Spring Has Sprung

Friday the 20th of March officially marked the season where everything and everybody seems to feel rejuvinated and poised to move in a positive direction. And as much as I love and miss our beloved house and friends in beautiful Central Oregon, "spring" is actually much more visible right here in California. A recent business trip found me taking the "long way" back to San Francisco, via the beautifully blooming mustard fields that provide a breathtaking backdrop to California's wine country this time of year. Napa and Sonoma in bloom is a sight to behold.

We moved to Bend with the idea that we'd experience four "mild" seasons, according to everything we'd read about the area. Unfortunately, the mild winters generally kick in around the first week of November, with the inevitable snowfall coming by mid-month. Snow and cold weather are part of winter, which would be fine for three months, but it commonly stretches into May and even June. In fact, August is the only month of the year that hasn't experienced snow, as long as the meteorologists have been paying attention. Friends and loyal readers will recall me complaining of rain, wind, and snow over the Memorial Day weekend and my annual "Meatfest" BBQ our first year there. We subsequently moved it to Labor Day, assuming late August would be more conducive to hosting 40+ people for a day of sun and BBQ festivities.

Spring happens very slowly in Oregon, and generally feels a lot like winter ... cold, windy, overcast, and SNOW being the key operatives. But California's different. Even in the Bay Area where the weather doesn't vary a whole heck of a lot, it's evident everywhere you look or travel.

Our backyard is flowering and blossoming. The weather is warming up and we've actually been experiencing mid-seventies recently. It's sunroof weather, coats have been hung in the closet, short sleeves are back, and I can pretty much leave the BBQs uncovered for the next six months. Oh ... and I can USE them and not get drenched or blown away in the process! I'm used to barbequing all year round in California, but there's just something about waltzing out to the backyard through the snow flurries in single-digit weather that puts a slight damper on preparing the evening's tri-tip on the grill. I suppose this is why God gave us indoor ovens, but I don't have to like it.

Spring is obviously a season of rebirth for the natural things around us. From the traditional "spring cleaning" routine, to the beautiful blossoms like those pictured above, it's a season of hope for the future. I have a curiously positive feeling about what this spring is going bring. It just feels like a good year ahead, and I'm certain that we can all use one at this point. Downturns in the economy and personal retirement funds, decreases in our home values, forced moves to secure jobs and money to live on, and genuine concerns about the world situation in general has made for some uncomfortable times. It's time for a rennaisance, a rebirth of the good times and positive directions that we all want back.
So my brief soapbox list for this spring goes like this:
  • Get out of the house, enjoy the flowers and the sunshine, breathe fresh air
  • Learn something artistically new that will enrich your life
  • Follow this up with sharing it, in an effort to enrich someone else's
  • Go for rides in the country, then get out walk in the country
  • Take a swim, ride a bike, lift some weights, do something positive for yourself
  • Take a class in something that's always interested you
  • Enjoy what you have, be thankful for all the little things
  • Celebrate the friends and family who are so important

And finally ... plant something ... it's Spring!


Maggie said...

Oh spring, how lovely! Here in Tasmania winter is settling in. We even had a little snow the other day and it is only April. I'm envious I would rather be looking forward to an Californian summer than a Tasmanian winter. I better dust off that hot water bottle.

Sweta said...

How beautiful-reminds me of the mustard fields in Punjab and of course the yummy "sarson ka saag"(mustard leaves in a gravy) with freshly made hot"makki di roti"(Corn roti's)!!

curiousdomestic said...

Spring in California was my favourite time of the year (and early Summer). The Farmers Markets are so great.

Ginger said...

Hi Larry,

You really got me thinking!! Thanks for sharing. Mustard fields are really pretty....

C.G. the Foodie said...

Gorgeous pictures!