Hope springs eternal


Spring seems as fickle as a child faced with the unenviable task of picking one candy over several other choices during a trick or treat. Yes, just when I thought that winter is over, temps will fluctuate and usher in winter weather again. It’s that time of the year when you bundle up in the morning just before you step on the subway train, and at noontime, you are perspiring like there is no tomorrow.

Don’t get me wrong. I love springtime and winter in equal measure; summer is another story. I am not a fan of summer. Everything grinds to a halt for me during summer when the scorching heat siphons off every ounce of energy I have. Summer drains me. Summer raises my blood pressure. Summer makes me short-fused. Whether indoors or outdoors, I feel uncomfortable. No matter how loose the clothes I wear or how minimal they are, I still feel hot. So, summer is never on top of my list.

Spring isn’t perfect. It comes with pollen which is bad news to many who have been suffering from allergies. Be that as it may, there is beauty to spring. You head out to Central Park and it is just mesmerizing. You see new shoots emerging from the ground; new leaves issuing forth from the tree branches. You see the world renewed, like a fresh restart has commenced. It brings with it joy, hope, optimism.

No matter how life seems boring or dreadful at times, there is always the opportunity to see silver linings. Come to think of it, we have been couped up in our apartments for the greater part of winter. In the past two years, we chose to stay indoors not because it’s unbearably cold outside; we seek refuge at home to avoid getting exposed to the constantly mutating #covid-19 virus that before this year is through we will have used up all the letters of the Greek alphabet to name all the variants that have come up.

In the confines of our tight apartments, we manage to explore the digital universe more. We spend more time streaming movies or TV series from Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, Paramount+, Discovery+, Hulu, Peacock, and even the short-lived CNN+.

We gripe all day about the lockdowns, tne wearing of masks, and the pandemic in general. But not everything is as acutely desperate. We got to learn new skills. Many learned how to bake or cook fancy cuisine. Some got to finish their knitting projects. Others learned a new computer program. More often, we wound up doing something to better ourselves while in lockdown.

Even in lockdown, we get to do our job and we get to go to school. We didn’t stop living. Although some of us miss eating out and drinking at bars, majority of us get to spend quality time with family or friends indoors.

Yes, it is spring. We get to open our windows more and smell fresh air. With a great number among us vaccinated, we can dare to go out and explore. Having been vaccinated and boostered, we can do outdoorsy stuff once again with a caveat: wear mask in crowded places.

If you come to think of it, let us give credit where credit is due. Let us pat each other on the back for doing certain sacrifices. Let us thank the government too for churning out as much support as it can for testing and other preventative measures. Many among us managed to survive the lockdowns due to government subsidies.

Yes, as I head out to the park to smell the flowers, I am grateful for a lot of things in life. And yes, spring reminds me to count my blessings and pay it forward.

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