The onset of a few beautiful days (even if it was windy) certainly gives me spring fever. Actually the fever hit a couple weeks ago, but disappeared when cold and overcast conditions moved in and took up residency like a springtime squatter.
My wife and I were discussing spring and why it’s exciting year after year. As I mature (I prefer that word to age or grow older), the approach of winter seems to have less and less appeal. However, the advent of spring brings excitement as dormant landscapes slowly warm up and are transformed by the emergence of new growth. Yet, for me, it is different this year. It is so different that I found myself enjoying the annoying task of raking leaves. Even stranger is I have not been able to explain with 100 per cent certainty the reason behind my feelings. That will be left to my wife and children to explain since they always seem to know what makes me tick and don’t mind explaining it to me. Actually, they generally keep their opinions to themselves which is good.
Getting back to warm weather and spring, I hate to admit that I enjoyed opening up our two compost boxes and spreading decayed material on our garden. Of course the vegetable scraps that were deposited in the boxes during the winter have not sufficiently decayed to be of any value to the soil yet. However, the bottom half of each composter yielded healthy, black soil that will add vitality to the garden. Each year I tell myself that I will track the volume of organic material that we compost, but I seem to forget. Having a curious nature, I continue to wonder at the volume of waste we compost and do not have to send to the landfill. This year, I broke down and sent two large bags of leaves to the dump. I felt like kicking myself for that move after mixing the last of my stockpile with compost on Sunday afternoon. However, my sadness turned to joy when I remembered having a partial bag of leaves at the front of our house. How silly is it for a person to feel emotions over a shortage of compostable material? Heck, I am embarrassed to ask that question.
I believe that being a little more conscious of our personal environment has a downside as it opens a person’s eyes to the wasteful lifestyle we live on a daily basis. The danger is that by the time I reach old age (in another 40 to 50 years), I will have advanced my personal recycling program to the point of being a hoarder. Bags of leaves will secretly disappear from my neighbours’ back alley and appear in my backyard. There will be a large rotating composter for neighbourhood kitchen scraps with a chute that empties into my wife’s garden. Consequently, the garden will have to be multi-level like a parkade or it will overtake our backyard. Of course there will be ongoing complaints from our closest neighbours. Residents may be concerned about its height and appearance due to the lack of building regulations regarding a garden, but it will be the many arrays of mirrors used to reflect sunlight into the lower levels that will be of greater concern. Incompetent use of such technology or vandalism could result in a high-energy beam of light being focused on a neighbour’s noisy pet. The only evidence of foul play would be a scorch mark on the ground. Technology can and always will be used for wrong purposes, so I would have to install razor wire and alarms on our property in order to ensure the mirror assemblies could never be used for the wrong purposes. Without adequate safeguards it is conceivable that I could suffer heat stroke on a hot day or disappear totally and nobody (well, perhaps one person) would know what happened. For that reason I am canceling my life insurance policy since I am presently worth more dead than alive.
Springtime and new life is such an awesome time and its positive impact does not disappear until autumn is over. I personally believe doctors should actually prescribe quiet, outdoor tasks to every patient they see from January to September. Such activity may not cure an ailment, but it will definitely improve an attitude.