It became an annual tradition, that Ogden Nash poem I learned in 7th grade from my Oh-So-Grammatically-Perfect English teacher. Oh sure, we thought she'd gone insane when she began writing on the bulletin board. Not the chalk board, but the Bulletin Board.
Spring is sprung
The grass is riz.
I wonder where
The flowers iz?
The bird is on the wing.
Now isn’t that absurd?
I always thought the wing
was on the bird.
Just like the pollen, it returns to my brain each Spring. I use to send it to my younger brother on a postcard. We’re separated by eight years, but attached by the same sense of humor. When I got married, he realized the annual spring tradition moved out with me. Or so he thought. I kept sending it each year on a postcard. No signature. No return address. Just the poem. And if it didn’t arrive on time, I’d get an e-mail asking me what date Spring fell on that year.
Then one Spring after receiving the annual postcard, my brother sent me a grumpy old man e-mail declaring himself, “too old for such nonsense”, with a suggestion that if I needed to keep sending it, to address it to his then 5 year old son. I never did. The explanation wouldn’t have made sense to my young nephew. "Hey, I use to send this to your Dad for fun but now he’s too old, even though I was born first." Truth was, the explanation made NO sense to me.
That’s when I realized I’d taken another saying overheard as a child to heart. Evidently I grew up believing it was the gospel truth, “Age is mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”
In the Spring, I mind how the pollen drives me nuts, no matter what the allergy commercials promise. I mind that despite how many times someone says, “It’s just ONE hour!”, I’ll always dread the return of Daylight Savings Time. I mind my Grandmother’s gardening philosophy that you never, EVER plant anything outside before Good Friday. And even though I know that one day, ol’ Arthur Ritis might make me mind how I get on bended knee to plant spring flowers, right now I only see the beauty and colors of spring. I still appreciate the cool breeze that sends a cascade of Dogwood petals dancing on the wind like floral snowflakes. I still love the smell of wisteria, the true harbinger of spring in my part of the world. And as the Bluebirds make a home in the house one of my senior citizens built for me 15 years ago, I still think, “the bird is on the wing….”
I recently added a framed saying on one of my Center's newly painted walls. It reads, “We never really grow up. We just learn how to act in public”.
Which explains why I’ll never truly grow up or get too old. Even while viewing it through a haze of yellow, pollinated skies, I’ll always see Spring as a new adventure.