In the Ozark Mountains where I grew up, all the animals get excited during springtime. The little calves leap and jump and skip in the fields while their mothers calmly flick their tails and feast on new grass. Birds chirp and serenade in the trees. Butterflies test their wings. The entire animal kingdom breaths a collective sigh of relief, nudges each other and says, “MAN. Winter was tough. Aren’t you glad the weather is nice again? I think I can probably stop taking my seasonal antidepressants now.”
Okay fine. Animals don’t take Zoloft. But I bet they have other things. Like “happy acorns” or “St. John’s straw” because come on. Winter is tough on EVERYONE.
Yesterday in New York the highs were in the 70’s. I realized that spring is coming, even for the north. And I realized for the first time how HAPPY-ECSTATIC-OVER-THE-MOON I am that winter is coming to a close.
I had errands to run at Macy’s on 34th street, and when I got off the subway there was a homeless woman camped out on a sidewalk bench. She was surrounded by a mountain of bags, was wearing a plastic-flower crown of orange roses, and she applauded everyone who walked past her.
“Good for you, baby!”
“Go get this day, you’re doing great!”
“Look at you strut, that’s what I’m talking about!”
I walked a little further and a man was standing on the corner, music blasting from his phone as he twerked to “I Will Survive.”
That’s when I realized that this was the city version of happy, jumping calves.
Cities may not have much wildlife. I haven’t seen a butterfly since I got here. But it’s a universal fact that when the weather gets warm, when the flowers bloom and the sun shines, any being with a pulse gets happier. We’re all more optimistic, more prone to dancing and skipping.
So carry on, you beautiful New York springtime.
I’m reveling in your warm sidewalks, plastic flower crowns, and street dancing.