If you can’t be a letter carrier

Tuesday’s near-perfect weather brought an honest admission from the gentleman outside the West Station Post Office. “It’s days like this,” he said, pointing to a sunny sky and shaking a leg of his shorts, “that make me glad I’m a letter carrier.”

Well, yeah. Even those of us without such a title look for any chance we can to get outside this time of year and lap it up, like turtles on a log and dogs in the back of a pickup truck.

I was taught to appreciate the changing seasons from a young age. “The trees are getting new dresses,” my mother would say every March, as if providing a scientific explanation. It ranked right up there with “Don’t wear white before Easter.” My father, on the other hand, was good at giving me what educators today would call “sensory experiences” of spring – the feel of freshly-turned soil under bare feet. The smell of a county co-op.

Sometime into my teenage years spring simply became an excuse to roll down the windows of my 1978 Vega and turn up REO Speedwagon. It was also that time in my life that season came to be synonymous with highlighted hair.

I was a sucker for what slick merchandisers called “Sun In”. What 16-year-old with a not-yet-fully-developed frontal cortex could resist the possibility of having hair that looked like Christie Brinkley’s? Not me, not then. The problem was, on my dark hair this product didn’t have quite the same effect that the commercials showed. The effect it had on those whose opinion I valued was pretty predictable, however.

“So, what do you think?” I’d ply, never knowing quite when to stop.

“Well, it’s definitely different,” they’d usually respond, making an attempt at diplomacy.

“And? And?” I’d push, running stained finger tips through my tresses.

“Wow. Well, it’s so . . . so . . . ORANGE.”

Orange is good, I’d somehow convince myself, planning a next-time involving lemon juice instead.

That was a while ago, and spring now means other things, like flower beds to clean out and graduations to attend, and one spring certainty that’s already passing – this year’s daffodil crop. They’ve lingered long, but the browning always comes.

It was Wordsworth who wrote a poem about daffodils, and how he tucked the picture of them “fluttering and dancing in the breeze” away in his memory to savor at a later time.

“They flash upon that inward eye

“Which is the bliss of solitude;

“And then my heart with pleasure fills,

“And dances with the daffodils.” – Wordsworth

Here’s to picking that last daffodil, rolling down the windows, going fishing, planting tomatoes, watching a t-ball game, wearing flip-flops, buying the first snow cone of the season, and making some spring memories to savor.

Just one piece of advice for brunettes, though. You might want to stay away from the Sun In.

Wesson resident Kim Henderson is a freelance writer who writes for The Daily Leader. Contact her at kimhenderson319@gmail.com.