Saturday, March 30, 2013

Today's MOMENT OF ZEN 3/30/13

Words and photo by F LoBuono
Spring is a special season (aren't they ALL in their own right?). We've had a long and debilitating winter. It seemed to have far more than worn out its welcome. Many wanted to seek revenge for it by assaulting that fine prognosticator of Spring's early arrival, the rodent know as Punxsutawney Phil. But the Cranky Old Man has finally split and the signs of renewal are everywhere. Even on days where there is a stiff northern breeze chilling your face, you can still feel that the sun is stronger. The days are longer. Warmer ones are, indeed, ahead. Yet, the air itself is so fresh and clean. The birds are returning. I hear them now, outside my window, which, for the first time in months, I can actually open. There is no sign yet of that clinging, cloying humidity that can define a New York summer. Air conditioning is completely unnecessary - an open window will do nicely, thank you very much. If you look closely, you can see the new buds sprouting on the trees. Crocuses of all colors have broken through and provide a splash and dash of vibrant color throughout the village. The forsythia will be next. And with their blooming, the shad will make their annual migration from the Atlantic and up the Hudson River to spawn - as they have from the beginning of time.

It is Spring, as it always has been and, with the proper stewardship, always will be. Yet, at the same time, it's all new, all fresh. It's a NEW beginning. It is rebirth. It is resurrection. Persephone has returned to earth. Christ is risen. It's all about renewal - a chance for a fresh start; a chance, if you will, at immortality by being a part of the cycle of life. Man has tried to explain and, therefore, understand what it all means since he realized that he could think. The Mayans, The Egyptians, The Greeks, The Romans, The Chinese, The Tibetans, The Christians, The Jews, The Muslims, The Hindus, etc., etc., etc., ALL have myths and rituals based on the fact that our lives are very much like the seasons that, if we take the time to actually observe them, teach us that our own existence can be perfectly explained by them. It is as simple as it is beautiful. To everything, there is a season . . . turn, turn, turn.

I happen to enjoy the warmer weather over the cold. It better suits my Sicilian blood. After a long, hard winter (actually, many people would tell you that I'm this way after ANY winter), like this one, I find myself swearing to move to the Caribbean once again. As an islander, I love the idea of eventually moving to one - like Puerto Rico. And I believe that, eventually, I will move there. But I would miss the change in season. I understand that even the tropics have seasons, but I'm not sure that they provide the strong contrast and, therefore, message, that the change demonstrates here. I KNOW that I would miss that aspect of living where I do. But that's not happening this year, anyway!

So, my friends, no matter what you call it, or how you celebrate (or don't!) it, I hope that you will take a moment to at least observe this most wonderful season that we call Spring. All things become possible once again. Pause a second to sniff the air and feel its freshness. Tarry a second to listen to the birds that have returned to serenade you. Look for the signs that are all around you of life returning. May it fulfill its promise of a fresh start, a new beginning. May you have enjoyed many until this one with many more to come. But never take that as a given. The best way to enjoy this, or ANY season, is to treat it like it's you last. . .

editors note: This will be the last installment of  Today's MOMENT OF ZEN. No, I'm not stopping the segment, I'm renaming it. I was hoping that the blog would get popular enough that Jon Stewart's people would notice that we both had segments called "Moment of Zen", and they would ask me to stop. Well, that hasn't happened - I should be so lucky - LOL! So, in the spirit of what I just wrote about a "fresh start", I've decided to rename the segment "MOZEN" - because I'm so damned clever. It's your "moment of zen" and "more zen" all rolled into one. Look for it.

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