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Sweet Spontaneous Spring

Spring has sprung in much of the country, and not a moment too soon (so sorry, midwesterners: hang tight). They say that global warming postponed this year's arrival, and that melting Arctic sea ice may be changing jet stream currents. Thankfully, whatever happened, winter seems to be finally taking a hike. In my neighborhood, cabin-crazed New Yorkers are pouring out of their winter cells, blinking at the sudden blaze of sunshine in a state of half-drunken joy.

Cafe chairs have suddenly appeared on the sidewalks and tourists are eagerly unfurling their maps on every corner. The news is still the news, much of it not good. There are weary battles to be waged, many of them soul-squelching (thanks, Obama, for that grandma-busting budget!). But as the Barlett pear trees burst into clouds of white and the breezes playfully toss their limbs, it's impossible not to feel joy. We humans need renewal, and thankfully, nature is still obliging us once a year. The poet e.e. cummings captured spring most magically to my ears, and not being much of a poet, I defer to him.

O sweet spontaneous
earth how often have
          fingers of
purient philosophers pinched
,has the naughty thumb
of science prodded
      beauty.    how
often have religions taken
thee upon their scraggy knees
squeezing and
buffeting thee that thou mightest conceive
to the incomparable
couch of death thy
          thou answerest
them only with
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