Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Tragic Nature of Spring

It's spring and there's lots to do fixing up the place. We had nine lambs, three died. You don't associate spring with tragedy in the popular imagination, but it's there just like the daffodils along the road. Two were born so weak to Bully's daughter, she tends to shy away from the feeding troughs with the grain. This year she had twins for the first time. But they couldn't stand despite her best coaxing. They walked around on their forelegs bleating for a day or two and finally succumbed. In the past we've bottle fed and run around in emergency mode. But this year, for some reason fatalism took over. This year death won an easy battle in the spring, a gimme in essence, but we have nine beautiful lambs and they frisk and play, they really do, skipping and jumping with the seasonal exuberance, the joy of being alive that puts us older ones to looking on with envy and thinking we could keep up, if only.
Went down to Boston for my nephew Nic's graduation party. He had the college kids over to his mother and stepfather's apartment in Cambridge, a beautiful place, but that's the subject of some other post. It was nice and intergenerational. Argued with my sis over whether the French were right to ban burkas on Muslim women in public places. That's the kind of family gatherings we have, a combination of high minded civic concern and ornery, alcohol infused in your face argumentation. The college kids were looking on and laughing, so in a sense we had the seasonal advantage on that night. Nothing like a little wine and the verbosity loosens up like a New England river in flood stage. Nic, the graduate, is taking a bicycle trip down the West coast, from Vancouver to San Diego. I advised him to keep going, spend some time in Baja, some unstructured end of the road time. He's figuring out where to go, what to do. It's a crucial, under-estimated time of life, post college, no fixed plans, no fixed abode. His girlfriend wants to get married. She's great, we all love her. She made a raspberry trifle for Thanksgiving a couple of years ago that stole the show. But is he ready for married? Is the timing right, and has he spent enough time at the feeding trough of his youth, because if he hasn't, then he could be spending the rest of his days on his knees, not quite getting to the udder. That would be a tragedy of a false spring.

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