austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Flowers blooming, all the time

Spring had better arrive any day now, or a lot of predictions are going to look silly. At least it has to arrive the most part: there's expected to be a week of scattered November in early April, and then a couple of days of June one weekend in May, which we pay for by having three May days in late March, only to see a half-hour of March pop in on one early June night expecting snacks and the chance to see stuff recorded but unwatched on the Tivo since no later than Christmas. March and May should come together somewhere over Long Island in the middle of April, producing a shower of people looking with vague anxieties at their calendars. And we have that steady patch of Thursday hovering over Atlantic City. If that's lost you then it's been successful as there's an essay about Summer following this one and gaining all the time.

Spring, currently one of the five leading seasons, is matched in popularity only by Summer, Fall, Autumn, Cinnamon, Origami, and Well, and has come far from its origins in the then-Province of Pennsylvania in the 1720s. It will come farther still if we wait a while. Spring was discovered by Benjamin Franklin, who took time out from his work making up simple anecdotes with excessively over-explained morals to cover every occasion including sneezes and wars for independence to notice the enormous number of metal coils which prodded their heads out of the ground by March 16th, ready or not. These springs would poke their way out of the soil and get sometimes fractions of an inch away before being swept up in the beaks of giant mechanical birds, ecological invaders from the French royal court. So he fled for London and stayed way as long as he possibly could, never saying a word about it to anyone. Pennsylvanians would probably have noticed anyway, particularly when the birds flew into them.

It took fewer, unless that should be lesser, than 162 years of study to find these springs kept popping up when the cooking was done and it would usually be around the time known as Spring, which simplified the bookkeeping except in the southern hemisphere, which was feeling contrary. Soon seasonal exports from Pennsylvania became a major source of revenue for the United States until buddings of some of the more durable Spring days were made in nearly every country. Unfortunately these were not the choicest, tastiest days usually. They would be Springs which best survived transportation in the 19th Century's sailing ships, primitive railroads, more primitive steam ships, and really absurdly primitive airplanes, many of which were just piles of coal which moralizing speakers told to ascend.

Spring does have its disadvantages, such as a noticeable loss in productivity due to workers complying with mandatory frolicking sessions each Tuesday and Friday from 1:50 pm through 3:10 pm. Note that a proper frolick requires bounding, so wear good shoes that protect key ankle components like the muscle thingy and the tendon thingy and the thingy that gets sore when you bound, and you'll want to be sure you go to the bathroom beforehand. There will be similar delays in moving around due to springs burrowing up from the ground while wrapped around trees --- making the birds feel ridiculous because they never think to look there, even when they remember the springs pulled this trick last year too --- and then working their way end-over-end into new territories. The annual progress of these slinky trees is paused only by rivers and escalators, but that doesn't mean people won't have to wait unless they want to get involved in other creatures' business.

Still, to date, nobody's thought of a better way to fill the periods between the Origami and Cinnamon seasons, so it's probably going to stay popular, particularly because it takes months to unfold all the little cranes and umbrellas and paper cups left over. You may as well make the best of it, and lay in stocks before we get a scattering of late winter this weekend. Somebody should tell Benjamin it's safe to come back.

Trivia: Benjamin Franklin first arrived in London on Christmas Eve of 1724. Source: Benjamin Franklin: An American Life, Walter Isaacson.

Currently Reading: The Last Editor: How I Saved The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Los Angeles Times from Dullness And Complacency, Jim Bellows.


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