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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Winter Blues

Winter is not my least favorite season; fall is. Fall teases and foretells. Winter just is. And it’s a close second. Most years, I can’t wait for spring to show up.

Remember M*A*S*H? Remember “Dear Sigmund?” In that one, the cast huddled around a cherry tree in the compound, clapping for it and for the first day of spring, and then...
...scuttled back inside to huddle around stoves. Psychiatrist Sidney Freedman said something about emotional health being like spring at MASH: if you can’t find it, and you can’t feel it, you make it. He tapped his chest and said something about symbolically coaxing a little bud to grow.

In New Hampshire, I wanted spring so desperately I read seed catalogs like travel brochures. That was in New Hampshire. Where spring came in May.

My college roommate forced an amaryllis bulb every winter. Weeks before the drama-queen flower appeared, the leaves and stem grew inches overnight. It held the promise of spring during my winters in South Carolina, where spring came in February. Please.

My winter blues are much milder in Kentucky than when I lived in New Hampshire, and the best cure I know, here, or there, or anywhere, is flowering bulbs. Force ‘em if you must.

My husband-to-be gave me a poster featuring a crocus emerging from snow. The caption read: “In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.” Albert Camus

We lived in a lot of houses, and at each one, my husband planted crocus bulbs in the lawn. They surprise me still.

Contributed by Elaine Jack, Assistant Editor, Today's Family magazine.

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