The Daily: 18 April 2023

I am not fond of spring. Of course, I like the warmth and the end of shoveling snow. I love flowers and birdsong. Bees are rather funny when they first waken in the springtime. I don’t even mind the lengthening days, though I do wish the neighborhood robins would sleep in on the weekends. At least past 4:30am. I don’t like the bipolar weather and I’m tired of tramping mud everywhere, but these really aren’t the reasons I don’t like spring.

It’s not my favorite season, but it’s not the season itself that irritates me. It’s the human aspects. I have a very low tolerance for pink. I was never keen on romance even when I was a romantic teenager. For a while I liked fairy tale endings, but one can only tolerate so many meet-cute-gets-the-girl narratives. But romance, the actual thing. Nyah-ah. Nope. Not for me. Then there’s the annoyance of teens who have pretty much checked out of responsibility for the year by the time April rolls around. The ones with cars are a particular menace. The ones with trucks are just insufferable. And to top it all off, this culture that I live in celebrates this nonsense. We are fixated on idiotic youth. We are constantly told that we should want to be forever young and looking for love. Though we’re also supposed to be innocent and carefree. Somehow.

This youth obsession colors our views of the whole season and confuses many things. The myths of this time of the year are markedly mixed up. As a minor example, Cerealia, the most important harvest festival in ancient Rome, begins tomorrow. Not in fall, but in late April when the grain was being harvested. But the more disturbing issues are all the weird stories about mating deities who ‘bring the spring’ through procreation. I find reducing the mysteries of creation, of new life, of seeds and birth and awakening, to mere human erotica to be outright offensive. If there are deities, I do not think they are anything similar to crude humans, nor would there need to be gender, never mind the pain and suffering of pregnancy to procreate. Gods do not mate. If they have bodies at all…

So quite a bit about spring on the NeoPagan path is rather distasteful to me. But the old pagans probably would think it all rather strange also. That we don’t honor our wise elders. That we place such emphasis on body appearance. That we define love so narrowly. Or even that we celebrate ‘planting season’ when the only things being planted are the annual veg and flower gardens, and in many places that doesn’t happen until May (which is summer… not spring). It’s all so disconnected from reality, our ancestors would either be perpetually confused by us or just shake their heads ruefully at the bad use of their genetic stock and walk away.

In any case, I’m grumpy. I’m all for metaphor, but can we make it relevant, please? Isn’t that the point of symbolism? This is why I’ve made my own calendar and why it doesn’t center humanity. This is the time of year that animals are nesting and giving birth — after mating weeks or months ago. This is when the first pale green washes over field and forest, but there aren’t many leaves yet. This is when daylight is longer than night and cold-tolerant plants are starting to get busy converting all that light into sugar, though nobody else is awake just yet. In the garden there are exotic blooms, but there are few other flowers until later in May. There are no butterflies except the mourning cloaks and cabbage whites, perhaps the occasional skipper. Spring is not a buggy time. Because there isn’t much to eat yet. Not for most life-forms. Spring is a scary time of dearth and death. Most of all those infant animals and sprouting plants will die in the next few weeks — along with a fair number of the aged and infirm.

Our stories tell a completely opposite tale, a spring of blossoms and honey and abundant food. In my part of the world, the bees have only been out for a few days and the veg garden hasn’t even germinated yet, much less produced anything. We’re so busy with our stories that we don’t seem to notice that they reference nothing in the real world. Of course, that’s true of most things in our culture. But it’s irksome when we claim to reverence nature… and don’t seem to even see what nature is doing.

It’s like the ‘three faces of the moon’ thing when the moon has four phases and the full moon is not one of them. If we’re part of a nature religion, it seems to me that the least we could do is pay attention to nature — and stop forcing time into our irrelevant stories.

Ah well, I’m just being a grumpy old witch. I should be happy because it’s spring… And, despite the weather in certain parts right now, summer is just around the corner.

But then… I suppose the teens with trucks will be extra exasperating in May…

©Elizabeth Anker

3 thoughts on “The Daily: 18 April 2023”

  1. Spring is so inconsistent. But then so is every month these days. I guess I’m getting old because I really like consistency. I can identify with your lack of rain issue and the carrying of the buckets.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. In my part of the southern hemisphere there is no definite ‘sign’ that one season has changed to the next until we are well into it. There are no images that stand out for one season or another: it is either very hot or rather cold; the countryside can be brown during a summer drought or green in the middle of winter thanks to some unseasonable rain; the sky is generally clear and blue in autumn – it is the leaves eddying about the streets that remind you that winter is about to settle in. I hear you wish about the robins … here the hadeda ibises roar at around 4.30 a.m. in the summer – now they only call at around six. What bliss!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just wanted to say thank you for taking the time to write so frequently. I love hearing what is happening in places I’ve never been. Good for perspective. But more importantly, it just reinforces the point that there is no one way to be in the world. There are similarities — hadeda ibises! funny! glad THAT isn’t happening here! — but every place has its own path.


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