The thing about spring is that it’s not my favorite season. In fact, it’s probably my least favorite.
It’s not that I don’t appreciate budding flora or warming temperatures. It’s more of an emotional reaction. Clear, cool, breezy spring days with puffy white clouds against a blue sky leave me feeling a little melancholy. Sometimes, it’s almost too calm and mild, making me wish for a hot, sultry day or a heavy snow fall. It probably goes back to some deep negative associations from my past — but enough about youthful angst. Actually, there are plenty of things that I do like about spring.
Spring is a nice time to visit wineries here in Northern California to sample a few vintages and get a glimpse of buds on the vines.
I enjoy an occasional walk in the spring rain. On a late afternoon last spring, the rain created a moody San Francisco effect.
Taking desert road trips in the spring means that you’ll see cactus flowers in bloom.
Spring means that it’s time for going to AT&T Park to see the San Francisco Giants.
In spring, you can sit outdoors while enjoying tea and dessert in lovely settings like the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park.
And of course, St. Patrick’s Day is in the spring! Well, just a few days off from the official beginning of spring anyway.
On March 17th, I like to wear a little green, listen to Irish music, tell Irish jokes and have a pint. In my 20s back in Chicago, I was known to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in a big way, but those stories will remain secret until published posthumously in my memoirs.
I’m happy that I was able to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day with my parents for many years, too. It was always a big holiday in our family. After all, I’m a “Sweeney”. Mr. TWS is not a Sweeney by blood, just by marriage. In fact, he’s not even Irish, but he does enjoy a good pint of Guinness.
One of my fondest memories is about being in New York for St. Patrick’s Day. Like millions of people, I’d seen the parade on television, but in 2006 I was there in person and with a great vantage point right up front on Fifth Avenue. Everyone seemed to be in good spirits. I was talking to a woman from County Clare, Ireland who was as thrilled as I was to be experiencing the holiday in New York and gave me a souvenir ribbon to wear. What luck of the Irish to get a souvenir from a real Irish person while at the St. Patrick’s Day parade in NYC, second only to Chicago (where I’ve lived) as a great place in the United States to be on March 17th.
Sadly, I have no pictures from the parade that day and there’s really no excuse. It was a beautifully clear day and we owned cameras. We missed a great opportunity to get a photo of Hillary Clinton (Senator from New York at the time) who was one of the officials walking in the parade. As she walked by, I called out, “Hey, Hillary!”. She looked over, smiled and waved. And there we were — without a camera.
Mr. TWS has much more romantic notions about spring.
Here’s what he thinks about spring in his own words.
Part of why I like spring goes back to long, severe winters of my youth in Northern Wisconsin. Spring was the return of life and warmth; it signaled longer sunnier days. That wonderful change was best captured in the movie Doctor Zhivago, where the horribly bleak and desolate winter was contrasted with the scene of the field full of daffodils; that scene change captures perfectly why I like spring.
I really enjoy flora as well and spring makes me think of the many types of flora unique to spring, whether the green of leaves emerging on trees and fresh grass or the many different flowers of spring – lilacs and lily of the valley, which were my favorites in Wisconsin; white and the many shades of pink blossoms on trees; tulips and daffodils.
In California, where we live now, the spring isn’t quite as defined but it feels like spring starting in January through May, and there are many different blossoms that emerge through the entire period from the yellow acacia to the blossoms on many different types of fruit trees. In California the greening is a bit reversed. The hills and meadows turn green with the rains of winter and then turn gradually tan through the spring.
And that is how Mr. TWS and I feel about spring! Is it your favorite season? Or not?
This blog post is my contribution to the spring-themed blog carnival taking place right here on Traveling with Sweeney in March. Take a look at great spring stories from our travel blogging friends here: You Give Me Fever — Spring Fever. We’re also linking up to the Boomer Women Travelers “Spring Fever” round up.