What’s it like in your town? Here in the South Bay, voluminous clouds crowd the sky in shades of bright white to dove-gray allowing a brilliant blue to appear in patches that go on forever. Our Japanese cherry blossoms continue to unfurl, and among the barren hornbeams tip tiny flags of green. It’s the first day of spring, 2020. While so much else continues uncertain and threatening in the “world,” with no end in sight, it’s good to pay attention to that other world, the natural world in which we also live, and be reminded anew that seasons do change.
Day three has been a harder day for me so far. My husband and I actually boarded our own ShIP a week ago when 2 weeks seemed the cautionary limit, “an abundance of caution,” something no seems to be saying any more. Some sense of doom settled on me last evening, and I woke often throughout the night. Anxious scenarios filled my head. So yea, a bit rocky today. That’s going to happen on the ShIP. Waves. I find it’s better when I just admit that to be the case and begin to redirect my thoughts as best I can. And hope for a better night tonight (oh, that little big word).
But we all awoke to the first day of spring!
Probably one of my better gifts ever has been the online OED. So after failing at a photo to capture some of Spring’s essence shining in the back yard, I thought I’d come at it from another angle: language. If you’re not familiar with the OED, or Oxford English Dictionary, it’s “the definitive record of the English language, featuring 600000 words, 3 million quotations, and over 1000 years of English,” providing a panoramic window into every word. Anyway, reading through the definitions for spring, three noun forms and two verb, became “A source or origin of something,” that something being today’s entry.
Spring is a wonderfully nuanced word. I hope that in listing just a few of its myriad usages, it might provide not only a small meditation or diversion in Day Three, but also perhaps a rising of spirits. If not yours, mine.
As I compiled the list, the poet in me couldn’t help breaking, or separating, the lines, making a few deletions to create a type of poem, a cento it seems, in this collection of gathered lines, courtesy of the OED.
Spring, the place of rising.
The place of rising or issuing from the ground,
the source or head, of a well, stream, or river
A flow of water rising or issuing naturally out of the earth;
A flow of water possessing special properties,
a medicinal or curative nature.
A place or locality having such springs
to which invalids or pleasure-seekers resort.
A source or origin of something.
The action or time of rising or springing into being
The appearing or coming on, the first sign, of day, morning, etc.;
Also, the beginning of a season.
The first season of the year, or that between winter and summer,
reckoned astronomically from the vernal equinox to the summer solstice
Also, a season resembling this in some respect.
Rise, beginning, first appearance, or birth
spring from or out of, to have source or origin in,
An act of springing or leaping; a bound, jump, or leap.
An escape or rescue from prison.
The quality or capacity of springing;
the power inherent in, or possessed by, a thing
of spontaneously resuming or returning to its normal state
when pressure or other force is withdrawn;
elastic energy or force; elasticity.
Elasticity or springiness as possessed
by persons or the limbs;
buoyancy and vigour in movement.
That by which action is produced, inspired, or instigated;
a moving, actuating, or impelling agency, cause, or force;
Some kind of dance.
A tune upon the bagpipes or other musical instrument,
a quick or lively tune;
To change place or position by sudden and rapid movement
to move with a sudden jerk or bound;
to dart or fly.
To be resilient or elastic;
to shift or move on account of this.
To leap over.
We will. In time we will leap over. Be resilient. Be elastic! I’m trying, too. -Sally