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Lynn Hummel: Spring is the season for optimists

The date was March 30th, ten days after the first day of Spring. The four of us were driving easterly on I-94 from Bismarck to Fargo and we saw thousands, no millions, of Canadian Geese flying north to their favorite nesting homes. The sky was dark — there were so many geese it was a wonder they weren’t bouncing off one another up there. Those geese knew better than the weather forecasters that a big blizzard was coming through the next day. But they weren’t fully molted, so they were still wearing their goose-down vests and had no worry at all about the blizzard to follow.

The creatures of nature have built-in optimism. It’s part of their DNA. After the blizzard, the tulip bulbs beneath the new blanket of snow are still eager to sprout and pop out of the ground with the least bit of encouragement — a few rays of sun and just the slightest hug from some warm earth. Crocuses out on the prairie are even more eager — they will pop up beside the remaining banks of snow.

Even if you can’t see it when you look out your window, the circle of life is coming around the corner one more time — another season of birth and rebirth. The season of optimism is upon us again.

Those who are truly optimists have been in motion for some time. They ordered their seeds and many have already been planted and are sitting in little pots next to the window to catch the energy of the sun and get a head start.

Our friends, cousins, and uncles who are farmers have ordered their seeds too and have their equipment all serviced, repaired and ready to roll as soon as conditions allow. Pessimists would be miserable in the farming business. Even when nature (or the markets) slaps them in the face a season or two, they bounce right back, praying for timely sun, rain, warm days, cool nights, humidity and luck. They were once simply called “dirt farmers,” but today they’re soil scientists. Still optimists though.

Kids can feel the surge of nature in the spring. They want to get out and run around, swing, jump rope (in the old days we played marbles), bike, play ball, fly kites, ride their trikes and stay outside later and later.

Adults feel the same tug to get outside to walk, plant, garden, stretch those coiled winter muscles, breathe the spring air or just get on a bike or in the car for a spin — to nowhere in particular, but just out there — in the sun, in the spring.

Senior citizens feel all those same urges, but with one added emotion. That plus factor is the realization that they’re being given the beginning of another year of life. Not all their friends made it through the winter, so spring is one more beginning, one more reason to feel optimistic again. It’s a new year. Breathe it and feel it.

Isn’t it interesting that, through the joy and optimism of their new parents, baby girls are still named April, May and June? I challenge you to find one girl named December, January or February. Just one. Ok, maybe in Australia where the seasons are reversed.

So join the geese, the robins, our other fine feathered friends and the creatures of the earth and enter into the season of warmth and optimism. But don’t let it rain or your parade — even when it’s raining.