Remembering The Magic of Spring

There’s a reason for springtime much as there is a reason for three other seasons. Perhaps you live in a part of the country where it is virtually impossible to tell the difference from one season to another because you live where it is mild most of the time. Although Southern California has two seasons – cool and hot – the change of seasons is very apparent in the changes in foliage. We actually have autumn here – in December at the cusp of winter.

Forget seeing New England colors here.

If you live in Florida, there are two seasons – warm and muggy and hot and sticky with a chance of mosquitoes, gnats, and love bugs. When I lived in Central Florida in the 1980s, I was there long enough to wonder what winter felt like. You knew winter had arrived with the rich aroma of woodsmoke from fireplaces up north.

At its coolest, Florida feels like springtime.

A rare exception to warm and muggy in Florida was January 1986 when Shuttle Challenger exploded, killing the seven on board. It was a bitter cold Florida morning with temperatures around the 20-degree F mark. Unusually cold, prompting the day’s headlines. I was headed across Tampa Bay on the Howard Franklin Bridge to St. Petersburg when Shuttle Challenger exploded in my rearview mirror 120 miles away. It was then I realized just how cold it was in Florida. I think most will agree it was too cold to launch that morning, and with catastrophic results.

I am an East Coast boy lost in a place called California where I have been for 30 years. You become spoiled by the abundance of pleasant weather here where the sun shines most of the time. However, there isn’t a day when the sun doesn’t come blazing through the bedroom window when you long for a cloudy day with rainfall. And, when you live on the desert, the sun breaks the horizon early and sets late unless you live in the shadow of mountains.

Being Washington, D.C. born, I miss the magic of spring when trees and flowers begin to bud where the sweet smell of clover and honeysuckle permeate the air. The springtime Cherry Blossoms around the Potomac give our Nation’s Capitol an extraordinary ambiance unlike anywhere else in the world. When you’ve spent months inside in the warmth protected from the cold, those first refreshing days of spring are intoxicating. You feel alive again.

In my youth, my friends and I would load up our cars and head for Ocean City, Maryland in what are now classic cars – Chevelles, Mustangs, Roadrunners, GTOs, and a host of other mid-century marques. In those days, these classics were just old cars to us. We never even considered air-conditioned rides because that would rob you of horsepower. We headed across the Chesapeake Bay bridge and cruised Route 50 to Maryland’s Route 404 to Rehoboth and Ocean City. Spring had arrived and hormones were flowing. It was a wonderful time to be a teenager coming of age.

And this is what spring was all about in our youth. It was about coming alive amid second chances and a fresh start in a new year. Summer was right around the corner and we couldn’t wait.

2 thoughts on “Remembering The Magic of Spring”

  1. Springtime in the beautiful Washington DC Metro Area is totally refreshing and brings practically perfect weather! I look forward to April and May with great anticipation each year!


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