Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Sap is Rising

So it's spring. Really. At least, it seems that way. You never now in the mid-Atlantic. We could get snow tomorrow. When I was 12, and living in northeast Pennsylvania, we were gifted with over a foot of the white stuff on April Fools' Day. That week off from school educated me in the fickle ways of Mother Nature; there is nothing more foolish than counting on fair weather.

So we took advantage of the balmy temps yesterday and spent most of the morning and afternoon out of doors. The grass was squishy, and the sky was cloudy, but it was damn near 75 degrees. How can a body resist? Girls with apple bottoms in shorts were running. The convertibles came out in abundance, along with the stored motorcycles. Biker Mamas and Papas! That's a sight to behold.

Walking around the block in my neighborhood, you could see the fever had caught all of us. People I don't even acknowledge, and vice versa, smiling and waving. The cheesy "Nice weather we're having" actually seemed like decent conversation. It made me yearn for the "old days" of my youth, when neighbors were neighbors. We knew each others' names, we knew each others' ills, and sometimes, we knew each others' vices. We spoke on a daily basis. We had block parties every summer. Back then (T minus 25 years), you could give your neighbor an extra key to your house, for emergencies. Neighbors let your children into their houses after school if you were running late. Now neighbors are just proximal people, and if you're lucky, they don't call the cops on you when your music is too loud.

"Things were different, then," my mother sighed. Why? Is it really the computer age that's changed us? Is it technological isolation, or something deeper?

Today dawned with cooler temperatures, but I'm going to go outside again regardless. I want to make contact with people. Spring has sprung.


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