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Around the Bluhmin’ Town

3/30/16

Judy Bluhm

Spring has arrived! Some poets call it the most romantic time of year, when cherry blossoms, mild breezes, and songbirds stir up positive emotions. We are supposed to take time out of our hectic schedules to appreciate the beauty of these beautiful Spring days, and this is the season when the cacti blooms look like little white hats and the flowers are bright seas of color. Somewhere, lilacs and dogwoods have sprung to life; tulips are pushing stubbornly through the soil and fields of poppies are adorning our mountainsides. Spring is testimony that joy can be found by just looking out your window. Who doesn’t love Spring?

Oh, this is the time of grand celebrations – parties, festivals, parades, and feasts are happening in every corner of the world! The Romans, those original party-animals, used to have one huge (and wild) festival that lasted about five days in early Spring to honor Flora, the goddess of flowers. Evidently, those Romans did a whole lot of honoring and (oops, I’d say it, but this is a family newspaper) other activities, causing birthrates to climb nine months later.

Historians claim that Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival and New Orleans Mardi Gras, are examples of Spring celebrations with an “anything goes” attitude. What started out in Roman days as merrymaking and an emphasis on praising sexual fertility, has transformed into modern-day “sexy” parades and festivals. Naked ladies, beads, weird floats, wild dancers, and loads of merrymakers (or loaded merrymakers) are not that different than what the Romans were up to a few thousand years ago.

Spring Festival in China, marking the Chinese lunar Near Year, is over 2,000 years old. People place red paper with black lettering over their doorways, telling the evil spirits to stay away, while they have lavish parades and parties. Feasts, music, and dance are also part of the spectacle of springtime “happenings” around the globe. But it’s not all about eating, drinking, dancing, singing, parading, and kissing that’s going on this time of year. There is something else, far more sinister. Have you ever heard of “spring cleaning?”

Many women (possibly some men, too) view Springtime as the beginning of their annual ritual, called “spring cleaning.” A custom in America and Europe, this is the season to clean out the closets, wash the windows, beat the rugs, take stuff out of the cupboards, wash everything, and then put it all back. New, light-colored curtains have to be hung. Bedspreads are changed out. Dark colored throws and pillows are packed away. Well, you get my meaning. It’s exhausting just thinking about it.

Another downside to the glory of Spring, are the billions of pollen that are floating around, ready to make us sneeze and wheeze. Heads feeling like they’re stuffed with cotton candy, noses twitching, eyes reddened, throats burning…hey, it’s not always easy living with Mother Nature. In fact one local physician has said that “Phoenix is the allergy capital of the world.” Ka-chooo! (Excuse me while I find a Kleenex).

I think I’ll forget about the “cleaning” and “wheezing,” and focus on little purple lantanas, daffodils popping up, and the much anticipated return of the songbirds and hummingbirds. Poets say that Spring is not just a season; it’s the reason why we have faith, hope, and enthusiasm!

 Enjoy all that Spring has to offer, Dear Readers, because it’s here right now. Take time out from sneezing to stop and smell the roses!

Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local realtor. Have a story or a comment? Email Judy at judy@judybluhm.com.