Vasant Panchami 2/16/21

Thoughts by Richard Bleil

Happy Vasant Panchami to all of you!

Of late, I’ve been enjoying learning about the holidays of different cultures. A very good friend of mine is from India and is a Hindu, so I’ve been learning about these holidays in particular. They have so many beautiful ceremonies, like the rice ceremony that celebrates the first solid food (a rice pudding) for an infant. Probably my favorite Indian holiday is Holi, a celebration gaining popularity in America where it is better known as the Festival of Colors. The concept between the Festival of Colors is to throw paints and colors on the people in your life as a symbolic gesture (for those who participate but don’t necessarily understand why) of clearing any past transgressions and moving forward in the relationship. It’s a beautiful gesture of vengeance, where this harmless act results in the clearing the way to move on.

Vasant Panchami is the Hindu holiday celebrating preparation for spring. I love this, and frankly, it’s practically the only holiday of its like of which I am aware. Harvest festivals are common, such as Thanksgiving here in America. But the closest celebration of which I’m aware celebrating preparation for spring in this country is probably Groundhog’s Day in which a rodent informs us that we still have a long way to go before spring.

The first day of spring begins March 20, more than thirty days away, but this winter has been simply horrendous so I, for one, am very much looking froward to spring. This cold streak has frozen my pipes at least twice (that I’m aware of anyway, but fortunately only to the washer so it hasn’t been a major issue…yet). I find myself constantly shoveling and straining my back which is oh just so much fun.

So am I complaining? Oh, heck no. Things are improving so much for me how can I complain? But, in reality, I believe it’s improving for all of us. No doubt there are those who will disagree, but I’m very happy with the progress our government is making. Despite the results of the impeachment hearing, progress is being made on the Coronavirus relief package, vaccination doses are increasing and being distributed, the economy is expecting a tremendous rebound and human rights in the nation are looking up. This spring is looking so promising, and I have such high hopes for what it will bring.

The reality is that spring has always been my favorite season. After a long harsh winter, life returns, the weather becomes warm before it becomes stiflingly hot, and it’s just a great season. Yes, it can be wet (and unfortunately extreme weather is causing an increase in hurricanes and floods). Finally those heavy warm clothes can be replaced with more colorful and comfortable light clothing, and the weather becomes so beautiful.

This will be an interesting spring for me. In my new house, it will be fun to see if I have squirrels or birds. I hate to say it, but I also have to evict a few residents from my place. Today I realized that some little critter has been eating my left over fast food packets (like ranch and hot sauce…I’m guessing the hot sauce made my guest want to cool his or her palate). I also have something digging up my yard. Yes, I’ll look for humane ways to get them to move on of their own volition, but I guess I need to serve an eviction notice or two. I won’t feel so bad doing this once the temperature is positive as opposed to now. On top of that, I now know where I need additional insulation to prevent my pipes from freezing, but I don’t want to freeze installing it.

I think my spring plans are fairly well cemented. I’ll need a shed to store outdoor tools, get a lawn mower, install insulation, and evict some silent and hidden buddies. Seriously, why do I have a cat if she won’t get the mice? (I’m only kidding. She’s great company and a great cuddler.) I’m also hoping to take some trips. Maybe I’ll go see some shows in Vegas. Or if travel restrictions are lifted, it might be time to visit Scotland and Erligheim.

This spring is truly shaping up to be a great one. With vaccinations on the rise, a lot of these restrictions should lift, and like butterflies from our cocoons (what a horrible movie that was) we’ll all be set free. A great spring indeed, so happy Vasant Panchami to you all.


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