Sweet Spring


In my dream, I was skipping through Pat Murphy's Meadow 'in the sunny long ago' out by Torbay. The heat of the early morning sun sent me into an ecstasy of song as better-half waltzed towards me through the dandelions. She wore a bright yellow dress, just like in The Sound of Music. We sang in bluegrass harmony the old ee cummings tune:

sweet spring is your

time is my time is our

time for springtime is lovetime

and viva sweet love


     Such were my bright and cheerful thoughts as I awoke sharply at 5 am to greet the new day. I shook off the drowsy vapors of the dream world and looked out over the slumbering city. Off in the distance, I heard a few gunshots as some desperate citizens down in the Waterford Valley harvested waterfowl and plump pigeons for the dinner table. Probably some of those civil servants laid off by Dear Leader so he could make room for Liberal hacks, I thought.


     I am an eternal optimist despite spouse's advice of the night before that I should stop thinking about the purgatory between winter and summer, and the torment visited upon the toiling masses by their government. "You may not have your Raspberry Screech," she said, "but you have several bottles of Fifty Shades of Bay. So what, if they charge 2500% tax on iceberg ice."


     Alas, as I gaze out the window, sweet spring is nowhere in sight. A glowering gray blanket of sky, propped up by Signal Hill and Mt. Scio, hangs precariously over the city and sags down over the harbor like an old soiled mattress without springs. Ships and fishing boats stay locked in the safety of the ice fields just outside the narrows, unable to punch through the thick sheet of freezing drizzle at the entrance.


     The only bright spot in the entire metro area is a red glow coming from the dark castle on the hill--a sick joke perpetrated by Dear Leader Duh-wyte to show his support for the ailing, the lame, and the infirm, after Dr. (I'm a real doctor) Hagee, Minister of Seniors' Warehousing and the Disabled, has taken his scalpel to the healthcare corporations of the province.


     "Don't get sick, believe me," I tweeted, before digging into my bowl of cold breakfast gruel.


     I switched on our 1960 black and white Motorola television set, recently acquired from the Thrift Shop over on Kenmount and tuned to the people's network. A picture of Bern Coffey, looking like the evil wizard, Lord Valdemort, of Harry Potter fame, is shown scurrying into his office on Water Street, pursued by the fake media, as the Donald would say. Apparently, his $183,000 salary as the chief public servant is insufficient so he moonlighted by helping others sue the government that he works for. Nice. Dear Leader makes an appearance to defend his decision to hire the loathsome Liberal bagman. 


     "Very poor decision." I tweeted. "sad (or sick) man."


          Better-half is resting comfortably on the straw mattress upstairs, snoring contentedly in her St. John's accent. I take the opportunity to secretly upgrade my knowledge of the spirit world. Such wisdom has become somewhat rusty in the last fifty years after I turned to other pursuits after departing the ancestral home. The island where I was born fairly reeked of spirits, fairies, witches, hags and imps. I remember on many occasions having to shush them away when wandering in the forest glades. Now that I need them to put spells on Dear Leader Duh-wyte and his Liberal gang, they are nowhere to be found.


     My attention is drawn to the Black Arts book lying on the five-gallon plastic tub which serves as a coffee table in our humble abode. The book mysteriously opens to page 3.


     "Witchcraft," the author states, "is the study of how to harness energies as well as how to unleash the powers within. With the right tools and a little practice, the words in this tome will allow you to channel aspects of the spirit world that are beyond the common man or woman to even understand.


     Sounds like something my grandmother would have said.


     Then the page turns by itself, as if by an unseen hand. As everyone knows the indispensable tool of the wizard or witch is a magic wand. Fortunately, these are fairly easy to come by if you are the adventurous type and prone to early morning activity.


     "You must find a rod of wild witch-hazel which has never borne fruit; its length must be nineteen and one-half inches," the author instructs.


     Where to find such flora in our fair land, I am thinking. Then my gardener's knowledge kicks in. It is, of course, Hamamelis Virginiana, and tends to grow on the eastern slopes in order to catch the first rays of the rising sun. Curiously, it is also known as winterbloom because its flowers appear in January and February--no mean feat considering the rigors of the Newfoundland winter.


     "When you have met with the wand of the required form, touch it not otherwise than with your eyes; let it stay till next morning, when you must cut it absolutely at the moment when the sun rises, using an enchanted knife, if possible"--which might be a problem but the 'if possible' part seems to indicate that I might get away with using an ordinary splitting knife given to me by my late father who used it for cutting the sound bones from cod.


     While I am deep in such thoughts, spouse skips down the rickety stairs to inform me that spring must be just around the corner. "I've just had a dream," she said, "that you and I were dancing and singing through Pat Murphy's Meadow 'in the sunny long ago' out by Torbay. I was wearing a bright yellow dress, just like in The Sound of Music. We sang that ee cummings song in two-part harmony."


     This was definitely a good omen.

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