Wednesday, March 08, 2017

The Unlocking

This may come as a surprise, but the seasons and weather are very important to me.  They give a percussive, underlying rhythm to my life and I walk by it every single day.  There aren't many days or even moments where I don't view my life and what's going on inside it within the context of the nature taking place around me.  I have my particular feelings and opinions about each season. I feel like I've spent the majority of this winter blogging about winter which I'm sure is really fun to read. Sometimes it's all I can do in winter.

And now we enter that fickle transitional period of winter --- > spring.   I always get a little restless this time of year. Maybe because the earth is too, and I try my best to mirror whatever the trees do, as a rule.  But I feel restless, noticing full well the sun outside my window but feel a real trepidation at allowing myself to go out, to be outside just for the sake of being outside, something I end up vowing never to do again until I am SURE the snow will never show its ugly face again.  But I'm noticing the pockets of snow hiding in the shadows are breathing their last breath. I'm noticing the buds on the trees and the slivers of tulip leaves slicing through the earth, slipping through unnoticed until they are, startling everyone, like one of nature's many pranks. It's a brave new world during a brave new time. And we find ourselves facing it again, waiting to be reintroduced.

I can never put my finger on why this transitional period is so difficult for me. Is it difficult? Maybe unsettling is the word.  Never quite knowing my place in the natural context.  Am I here or am I there? Is it time? Where do you want me? How do I feel? What IS my place? Where AM I going? All of those silly questions begin flashing through my mind as the reel starts up again, thoughts I've had before as an eerie celebration of the anniversary of questions I always have this time of year.

Well. A friend recently sent me an excerpt that I love and that, I think, finally explains a little bit of the happy dissonance taking place. Because I do enjoy or at least appreciate it. I'm excited! But also nervous. It's like a tightly bound thrill is beginning to be unfurled.  Spring! Or is it? Yes? No? When? Soon? SPRING! Is it??

Here's the answer, as explained by Kurt Vonnegut:

One sort of optional thing you might do is to realize there are six seasons instead of four.  The poetry of four seasons is all wrong for this part of the planet and this may explain why we are so depressed so much of the time.  I mean, Spring doesn't feel like Spring a lot of the time, and November is all wrong for Fall and so on.  Here is the truth about the seasons. Spring is May and June! What could be springier than May and June? Summer is July and August.  Really hot, right? Autumn is September and October.  See the pumpkins? Smell those burning leaves.  Next comes the season called "Locking."  That is when Nature shuts everything down.  November and December aren't Winter.  They're Locking.  Next comes Winter, January and February.  Boy! Are they ever cold! What comes next? Not Spring.  Unlocking comes next.  What else could [March and] April be?*
 Ah ha! And there we have our answer! Fickle March is fickle because it isn't winter and it isn't spring! It's unlocking!  And that period after fall has finished but before winter has begun is the last few sweeps of Earth tidying up and closing shop! Locking!   I love this so much, it explains so much. I gives a balm to my soul, a name to my feelings, and I wish you and yours a very thrilling Unlocking indeed. 



Cheryl and Dave said...


)en said...


Joel said...

I'm on board with this. I never understood why we don't count summer until the solstice, by which point it's been hot for 6 weeks.

Tangent: When I was on my mission in Korea, they bragged a lot about having four seasons. Seriously. I used to occasionally tell people that in Utah we had 5: spring, summer, fall, winter, and Dave, just to mess with them.

)en said...

Haha. I love how having four seasons is a thing to brag about. Typically I feel it's just people's way of coping with winter.