Spring has Sprung

As I was pumping water out of my basement this week, I was thinking, “Spring is FINALLY here.”   We had a lot of snow this year in northern Maine, and the “Spring Melt” was delayed by unusually cold weather.

Nash 2.5
Nash 2.5
The date of the beginning of Spring: In the USA, we define it as the Spring Equinox (about March 20th, but the ancient Celts in Europe thought that spring began half-way between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice (about June 21st). So, according to Celtic sensibility, Spring doesn’t start until about May 10). Other cultures use different dates for the beginning of Spring.

The meaning of the word “Spring.”  This refers to the idea that “new life springs forth.” Trees bud, flowers bloom, germination occurs, seeds are spread, and most species of animals give birth. Why now? Because the young organisms need to time to grow to be as large and strong as possible to survive winter.

Fertility rites and/or human sacrifice.   Many cultures around the world, especially in temperate zones where the differences in the seasons are more pronounced, have festivals to honor the arrival of spring. Some of these cultures focus their celebrations on either symbolic or actual …. SEX. In ancient European rural peasant cultures, spring was one of those rare times when unmarried young people got a “free pass” to fool around, for a day or two.   For centuries, this has provided poets, novelists, playwrights, composers, and film makers with ample material guaranteed to improve their sales. For audiences who wanted a bit of violence mixed in with their sex, some cultures (like the Celts) also practiced the sacrifice of animals or humans. Yes, spring has been a thematic goldmine for artists.

Here are a couple of my favorite “Spring” videos…

The Courtship of the Centaurs scene From Disney’s ”Fantasia.” This is as sexy as Disney gets.

The trailer for the 1973 version of “The Wicker Man,” a film about a remote island off the coast of Britain where the local inhabitants have renounced Christianity and have reverted to the ancient Celtic religion. Plot: a policeman arrives to investigate the disappearance of a young girl and becomes convinced that she is being held in captivity prior to becoming the victim of a human sacrifice.


Finally, I ask my fellow Trailmixers, what does Spring mean to you?

— Nash 2.5 is a Trail Mix Contributor

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Nash 2.5

Retired professor of business & economics at a small college in Northern Maine.

31 thoughts on “Spring has Sprung”

  1. On April 15th, a town about 60 miles north of here got 8″ of snow.
    I can still see snow in the shadows around the yard.

    Last year the final snowflakes dove to their doom on June 1st.

    In the metro area I’ve never seen it snow later than June 6th.

    It’ll be Spring before daryl issa quits barking about Ben Gozzey and cnn stops speculating on M370.

  2. Jamie, thanks for the post comparing the dangers of swimming pools to the danger of guns.

    I’ve had a gun since I was a wee larval smartass. I’ve always known that there is no such thing as an unloaded weapon. Even though I shot off all my ammo years ago, and never bought any more, to me they are always loaded. We never had kids, so there was no problem with having guns out in the open unless company was coming. The homeless folks we’ve taken in never showed any interest in or concern about my guns. One guy was a peaceable old felon, forbidden to even hold a firearm, and he was so scared of more jail time that he never came near my guns. Sweetie and I never fight, and are pretty well adjusted. So, there’s not much danger around the house.

    However, a cat and a squirrel have drowned in one of my four 60 gallon rain barrels.

    Ergo, water is more dangerous than lead. And, if anyone ever tells me, “water doesn’t kill people, people kill people”, I’ll bust a gut laughing.

  3. Spring… walking around the yard without a coat… hearing the mating calls of birds… bringing in the bird feeders at night because of hungry bears… getting excited about the shoots that will become my bleeding hearts.

    And of course… the crack of the bat… the sound of the ball hitting a leather glove… Go Red Sox!… screaming for playoff hockey… Go Bruins!

  4. Ahhh, it’s sunny, warmish, and the damn deer have eaten our holly bushes – but it’s sunny and warmish and although I ain’t in it, I know it’ll be waiting for me to go home and climb on the tractor to cut the back yard at the end of the day.

  5. Spring is that time of year when I, once again, resolve to take up gardening …. not this year, of course, but definitely “next year.”

    This is a tradition I have faithfully maintained for the last 20 years.

  6. renee: I loved your comment about hungry bears and bird feeders.

    City folks don’t know what they are missing.

  7. Craig, You and Senator Byrd have me reliving my much bygone youth as Amanda in The Glass Menagerie:

    I wore it on Sundays for my gentlemen callers ! I had it on the day I met your father I had malaria fever all that spring. The change of climate from East Tennessee to the Delta – weakened resistance I had a little temperature all the time – not enough to be serious – just enough to make me restless and giddy I Invitations poured in – parties all over the Delta! – ‘Stay in bed,’ said mother, ‘you have fever!’ – but I just wouldn’t. – I took quinine but kept on going, going ! Evenings, dances ! – Afternoons, long, long rides! Picnics. – lovely! – So lovely, that country in May. – All lacy with dogwood, literally flooded with jonquils! – That was the spring I had the craze for jonquils. Jonquils became an absolute obsession. Mother said, ‘Honey, there’s no more room for jonquils.’ And still I kept on bringing in more jonquils. Whenever, wherever I saw them, I’d say, “Stop ! Stop! I see jonquils ! I made the young men help me gather the jonquils ! It was a joke, Amanda and her jonquils ! Finally there were no more vases to hold them, every available space was filled with jonquils. No vases to hold them? All right, I’ll hold them myself – And then I – met your father ! Malaria fever and jonquils and then – this – boy….

  8. All over the world, except in the Equatorial latitudes, the start of Spring has clearly been marked by birds going into their nest building frenzy. Premarital sex may have started some days earlier.

  9. Flatus’ 4:20 post reminded me of questions I thought of when I first heard that St Francis had converted the birds. These questions have never been answered to my satisfaction.

    1. Did Francis also marry the birds, or did he just convert them ?

    2. If Francis did not marry the birds and they just lived together in sin, were they excommunicated ?

    3. As a percentage, how many, if any, joined the Protestant movement in the 16th century ?

  10. XR,

    1 Francis never married a bird.

    2. He kept them in his church so that they would be safe from snakes. Snakes eat many innocent birds.

    3.Virtually none. So far as I can tell, Seagulls still ate fish on Friday.

    Conclusion: St Francis was a loyal servant of the Roman Church.

  11. Flatus,

    I often eat fish on Friday, but never had a clue that I was Catholic until I read your 4:58 post.

    Maybe this also explains how unattractive I find snakes to be.

  12. XR,

    One of the great surprises about where we were in England was that Robins didn’t have the familiar red breast. They walked and talked and flew the same, but were dark all over.

  13. Craig,

    Is there some reason that charlie sheen, of all people, is showing up in the Barbed Wire Newsies section of the Trail ?

    If there is, maybe you could explain why he tweets in hip-hop pimplish.

    Yes, I know it’s probably just some unpaid intern seeking a degree in communications, but the tweets are under sheen’s name, lower than which there is nothing but whale turds.

  14. Spring has sprung
    the grass has riz
    I wonder where the robin is

  15. My life of many years in Colorado taught me (and many others) that spring is not arrived until the last snow of the spring, May 13. Although one year the spring snow of May 15 was heavy and wet.

    Now, I suppose a little bit of laziness has crept into my life. Although I could have planted spring thingies weeks ago, I have waited for more warmth on my back and light in the evening.

    By refusing to watch the calendar days to begin mowing the weeds which are my “lawn”, I was rewarded with a ring of tulips where mowing had cut them down over the years.

    Those tulips have now been freed of weeds and make my total mowing requirement less. Next year those blooms of spring will be joined with others that are now to be placed in the earth beside them.

  16. nash, when I think of spring, I think of tallahassee where as they say spring begins. azaleas, camellias, japanese magnolias and wisteria all abloom.

  17. WHAN that Aprille with his shoures soote
    The droghte of Marche hath perced to the roote,
    And bathed every veyne in swich licour,
    Of which vertu engendred is the flour;
    Whan Zephirus eek with his swete breeth
    Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
    The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
    Hath in the Ram his halfe cours y-ronne,
    And smale fowles maken melodye,
    That slepen al the night with open ye,
    (So priketh hem nature in hir corages:
    Than longen folk to goon on pilgrimages,
    And palmers for to seken straunge strondes,
    To ferne halwes, couthe in sondry londes;
    And specially, from every shires ende
    Of Engelond, to Caunterbury they wende,
    The holy blisful martir for to seke,
    That hem hath holpen, whan that they were seke.

  18. That was beautiful, Joe. You are a fine poet, sir.

    Spring is like a perhaps hand
    (which comes carefully out of Nowhere)
    arranging a window, into which
    people look
    (while people stare arranging
    and changing placing carefully
    a strange thing and a known thing
    and changing everything carefully
    spring is like a perhaps Hand in a window
    (carefully to and fro moving
    New and Old things, while people stare
    carefully moving a
    perhaps fraction of flower
    placing an inch of air
    without breaking anything.

    [My spacing, as ee’s did not transfer well. So, I improvised.] [It’s a great lit-rarey partnership that ee and I have, doncha think?]

  19. CNN Attempts Suicide Once Again

    “CNN’s Headline News on Tuesday night used a photo of a Jewish host while interviewing a former neo-Nazi about an anti-Jewish hate crime in Kansas.

    “The incident occurred as Dr. Drew was doing a phone interview with Frank Meeink about Kansas shooting suspect Frazier Glenn Miller Jr. A photo of David Pakman, host of The David Pakman Show on YouTube, appeared on the screen. The photo was wrongly identified as “Frank Meeink: Former neo-Nazi.”

    “Pakman told Raw Story he was scheduled to appear later in the program.”

    “It was both funny but horrifying, especially because of how tense things are right now in terms of Judaism and anti-Semitism, including because of the Kansas shooting, which was the topic I was on to discuss,” he remarked. “I immediately received emails and tweets from confused and angry people, but at the same time many, many people found it hilarious.”

  20. Patd:

    I imagine that in many parts of Florida, the arrival spring of spring is when you wake up and find several half-naked drunken college students sleeping on your lawn.

  21. Weakly Slander :

    “Can This Marriage Be Saved? The Republican establishment needs the grassroots, and vice versa.”

    This is why we need to make tea party real and run t-candied dates for every legislative and constitutional seat in every state plus every US House and Senate seat in the nation.

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