Spring is known to be a refreshing time in cultures across the world. It has long been the symbol of regeneration in literature and the liberal arts. Poets, especially Renaissance writers and the Romantics, have done their due diligence to exalt its many glories.
Yet, springtime in Saskatchewan holds a particularly dear place in my heart.
I posit there is no temporal season, no geographical location nor physical environment more positively hopeful and rejuvenative than Saskatchewan in the spring. Printemps on the Prairies is a time of airy breezes, golden rays of sunlight and the sweet, subtle scent of burgeoning plant life.
It is a time of earthly equilibrium, as we pass through the spring equinox and begin approaching the summer solstice, but it is also a time of continual seasonal change. The best adjectives to describe this seasonal indecision include such linguistic gems as mercurial, tempestuous, irksome and inconstant. Snow comes and goes eternally — or so it seems — as does the summer sun.
Change is the only constant, at least meteorologically speaking, but why stop with the weather?
What season is more full of hope, ambition, burnout and relief than termtwo final exams? Moreover, as the anxiety, dread and triumphs of exam season fade from recent memory, the tides of summer begin to speed up into a current of glass-half-full goodwill unto studentkind. There is a subtle but pervasive optimism in the air so sweet you can almost taste it, and the atmosphere on campus begins to shift in a positive direction.
At the University of Saskatchewan, May is a month of calm recuperation, relaxed studying and peaceful exploration. The air is cleaner, warmer and scented with fresh flowers from our campus foliage. Professors and teaching assistants are somehow kinder. The Bowl is prettier. Students are more relaxed, secure in their knowledge of the steady approach of summer. People are just nice for a change.
Spring in Saskatchewan is a time of new hope, new life, vibrant energy and self-discovery, and I use my new-found oomph to explore unfamiliar personal and creative realms — trying on such possible selves as a geology student, a bohemian artist, an amateur yogi and more. I love taking spring and summer classes at the U of S, because this optimism is prevalent across campus.
Saskatoon is beautiful in the spring, so take that beauty, and do whatever you want with it. Convert it into creative energy. Like Donne and the other Romantic poets, take it as your muse. Use our Saskatoon spring to stoke your creative fires, and have a spring fling with yourself. Explore your own hopes, hobbies and desires instead of the more traditional whirlwind romance, and really, just get out and find your passion.
I humbly put this challenge forward to you, the illustrious student body: use the last days of spring to do something daring. Join a club, take an oddball elective, try a new sport or spray paint a poster for your bedroom wall — or heck, send us an email and write an article for the Sheaf — but do something exciting. Something to stimulate your senses after the long winter months. Something you’ve been wanting to try or putting off for too long. Something just for you.
Dig your metaphorical roots into the earth and regenerate yourself, so you can grow a little. Try something new, and above all else, take in the restorative power and verdant growth of a true Prairie spring while it lasts. Breathe it in, soak up the solar power of the sun and distill this energy into concrete actions that you can carry forward into summer.
Springtime will roll over into summer, which will slide right into fall, and it will be winter again before you can say, “I want to take conversational Ukrainian lessons and learn to play Parcheesi.” So don’t say it. In the immortal words of the late J. Willard Marriot, founder of what is now a massively successful American travel company — Marriott International — and Mormon business tycoon, “Do it and do it now. Err on the side of taking action.”
Photo: Meghan Lett / Flickr