Does the pace of life pick up in spring, or does it just seem like it?

Published 1:40 pm Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Spring is here in all its glory. The trees are leafing out, the flowers are blooming and ….

Whoa, there! I started to say the pace of living is picking up, what with all the graduations, weddings, youth leagues starting, grass mowing, gardening, etc., etc., etc.

Is the pace really accelerating, though, in these our modern times?

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Nowadays, there are the end of summer graduations, the end of the fall semester graduations. Folks get married every month of the year.

Youth leagues? They are no longer just for the summer. Today, we have fall youth leagues for football and soccer, winter youth leagues for basketball and so on. Those youth leagues, by the way, are going on at the same time as junior high school, high school, junior college, college and pro leagues in all those sports. All this thinking has my head itching.

Yes, I know. In the spring we have all those other leagues at the same time as the youth leagues, but then when summer rolls around, you have only the youth leagues and pro baseball.

Wait, then. Is summer really the slow time of year? Somehow we seem conditioned to consider the winter months to be slow. I guess that is because of the shorter days and often overcast skies.

Think, though. In winter, besides all the sports that are going on, we have the various October Fests, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, and Mardi Gras, followed in the spring by the French Quarter Festival and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

Some would probably place the October Fests in the fall. As noted, the French Quarter Festival and the Jazz and Heritage Festival in the spring, but sometimes even those feel like winter occurrences.

The main holiday celebration of summer that keeps us busy, if only for a very short while, is the Fourth of July. That’s it? That’s all I can think of, at least right now. Summer sort of ends with Labor Day, but I’m not sure whether to count that as a summer holiday — it’s usually hot enough — or the first of the fall holidays. School has started in most places these days before Labor Day rolls around and if you measure the beginning of the fall as being at the beginning of school, then I guess Labor Day will have to count as a fall holiday in spite of the heat.

Of course most people take vacations during the summer, which keeps them somewhat busy, but a main reason for taking vacations during the summer is that — can you believe it? — so little else is going on to distract us. Also, let’s be practical, the kids are out of school. I guess they are distraction enough.

Still, the feeling of spring is that the pace of life is speeding up. I think that is because everything is turning green again and the flowers are blooming, the bees are beginning to buzz — if some new and mysterious disease isn’t attacking them — and the birds are singing their songs that we missed so much in winter.

The days are longer, too, and seem especially so with Daylight Savings Time.

When I was a child, I looked forward to this time of year because it meant school would be out soon. It also meant grass needed cutting, which would provide me with enough income to buy some badly needed fishing gear. At least I thought it was badly needed. It sure was fun to use.

I still look forward to spring, primarily because of the added hours of sunlight in the afternoon. I do actually end up doing more, at least outside, than I do in the winter.

When I think about it, though, most of what I’m doing with those extra afternoon hours is yard work. Now exactly what has that gained me? It’s my yard I’m mowing and I’m not getting paid for that, so the effort isn’t resulting in my having any more money to buy fishing gear.

I don’t seem to have time to go fishing these days, even with the extra hours of daylight.

Still, I like this time of year, even with all my sneezing, coughing, hacking and wheezing. The pace does seem faster, even if it really isn’t. It’s just human nature to feel that way, and that’s reason enough for me.