And Gutenberg Lived Here: The Real First Day Of Spring

Dear whoever made the mistake

of thinking spring starts on the twenty-first,

or twenty-second of April,

or somewhere near June in the Gregorian calendar,

or whatever…

because…

today is the first day of spring.

How do I know?

Well….

This is the day that:

Puxtahawny Phil and his crowd wash and dry the duvet

and put it in the closet for another year,

the dishes needed for Easter

(the things with little bunnies or whatever,

or the fancy egg cups

with the giraffe bending over to pick up an Easter egg,

as the dog behind him jumps up

to pull down his t-shirt

with the motto

Only 269 more shopping days till Christmas)

is lovingly washed, dried, and packed in mothballs-

oops,

make that sawdust,

or straw,

or those hideous bubble things that no one mentions kills the fish,

but if you have ever seen a Mississippi flying catfish jump up,

hiccup,

turn twice in midair

and head for New Orleans,

under jet power,

you know it is true.

So anyway,

back at spring.

Here we have just gotten over Easter-

too many chocolate Easter bunnies

that were actually Santa Clauses, when you looked closely,

and Walpurgis,

the time of year when the locals get drunk as Lords,

(figure about 22 pints per person if you are the one giving the party

and a WHOLE lot of chili, or spicy goulash soup, or eggs kept in salt brine.)

And make sure you hold the party outside,

and not in the apartment

for obvious reasons-

like your carpet,

your bathroom,

not having to wake up at three am due to the moaning sound,

and finding two mathematicians trying to find paddles,

so they could paddle the bathtub to shore.

(We were younger.

Harold and I were sober.

I was a foreigner

who didn’t understand the secret lure of the woods on Germans,

and the curse of St Walpurga,

which takes place on the thirtieth of April,

and makes Germans burn piles of old tires on the top of a hill,

as they slide to the bottom of said hill

in a fifty gallon Sangria pot.

It’s part of the culture.

Just stay inside.

Like you would deal with werewolves.)

Oh, and make sure you put your garden furniture

and baby carriages

in the garage

and lock them up,

or you will have to pay the fire department

to take it down from the roof

the next day.

Oh, and the local wine makers sleep in the vineyards,

in case someone decides to make their own wine,

with their feet.

And the asparagus growers

sleep out over night,

on vigilant watch

for midnight field-hikers

with a paper package of Hollandaise sauce in each hand,

and a large two-tined asparagus cutting fork

in their teeth,

like a pirate.

Actually, in one case,

since we live near the fields,

we even saw a field-hiker,

Hollandaise in each hand,

whose dog wore a special harness-

two small backpacks,

for his necessary utensils.

Me, I’ll just wait for the corn to start coming in

from France.

As I watch the shenanigans from our balcony,

and wait for the time of year,

St Peter and Paul Day,

Birthday of Gutenberg,

when the fireworks start,

and the theatre goes on vacation

so the younger players have to perform outside,

in the rain,

yelling against the fireworks,

and the strawberry and asparagus season is over,

and Germans spend every free moment

in beer gardens,

or at Frühschoppen,

the time of day right after church

and just before one pm lunch,

when everyone goes to open air dixieland concerts,

or walks around the kaiser’s residence gardens,

or listens to fifties doo wop

or salsa

and dances,

because,

when all of these things come together,

sometime after the dawning of the age of Aquarius,

peace and harmony finally arrive,

and the bees buzz,

the few we have left,

and the gentle warm times arrive.

The times known as

Summer.

Copyright Dunnasead.co 2018 All rights reserved.

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