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  • Susan

The Name of It

“It's spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you've got it, you want—oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!” ― Mark Twain

My arms ache in a satisfying way after weeding in the gardens. And my hands are getting their summer callouses on fingers and palms from using clippers to cut saplings at the edge of the forest. Yesterday, I was flinging unearthed rocks, while following behind Aaron who was driving the blue tractor to grade ruts out of our dirt driveway at Nectar - and seeing my small bare hands Aaron called out with concern, "Don't you want to use gloves?"

I try to make him understand that I do not want gloves between me and the rocks! I savor the feeling, and enjoy the cool heft of stone, each one so gorgeous, many with quartz, some red with iron or those mysterious rocks speckled brightly with orange and silver flecks. Every gray colored rock imaginable lives where we drive and I love to grasp and fling them! I love the scrape of dirt on my skin.

I don't mind bending down a thousand times to pick up a rock and let my fingers grasp and then fling. Grasp and fling. Grasp and fling. All the while moving along the dirt drive, 1/3 of a mile down and then all the way back up again. The tractor makes several trips up and down to my one; engine rhythms getting louder as they come closer to me, I stand up as the tractor appears, step aside and wave to Aaron, and watch them disappear again. Each time.

Grasp and fling. I wonder if I need an exclamation point after that last "grasp and fling." Nope. Because it is a clue about Spring Fever, grasp and fling is not about excitement or exuberance, it's more about the heightened ache of not knowing what you want, and yet you want is so! The heart aches as it grasps and holds and releases, again and again, all the while moving, unstoppable happy motion to clear debris, delight at the next encounter with a gray rock that's too big for the road - all to make smooth for future use.

And Spring's fragrance and tiny May flowers seem to cheer from the sidelines, whispering a promise that one's soul actually knows. Grasp and fling is what we do, it's really all any of us can do, in whatever way we do it, as we love and release, as we live and die - each one of us always, always, always - and it will always be like this.

Spring Fever is about a season, which reminds us of our innocence and of our desire to feel what we can never know, to grasp life keeping it close to our breast and flower our dreams before we are flung out again, to where only life knows.

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