Keeping Up With Spring
By HOWARD HAYES
IT WON’T be long now before we shall be able to make time stand still. Just a few more miles an hour in a jet plane and the sun will never set on a fellow. Or rise on him either, if that’s the way he wants it. Then a few more miles on top of that and our master timepiece, the sun, can be thrown into reverse.
But what I am thinking about is spring, or the vernal equinox, or Flora. I shouldn’t mind making spring stand still for a while — and not only that: I actually think I can do it. What could be more wonderful?
The truth is that spring is not hard to keep up with. In the United States, if you are willing to do a little traveling, on foot if necessary, you can enjoy a steady festival of spring for about four months.
Now the sun, as we all know, hits about 1000 miles an hour in our latitude. That is too fast for me. On an east-and-west basis I’ll let the aviators keep up with it. But on a northand-south basis it is a different story. As the sun moves northward, spring comes at such a slow and easy pace that you can keep up with it on foot.
Brushing aside some minor points, the lovely change in the seasons that we know as spring moves northward at about ten miles a day.
Thus, if you start out anywhere along the Gulf of Mexico and move northward at this easy rate, you can keep step with spring right up to the Canadian border. You should begin about the middle of February on the Gulf and arrive in Canada by June.
At that pace you won’t miss a thing. You’ll see every peeping violet, every wildflower and fruit blossom, and your amateur gardener in a dither over his tiny seeds and his wobbly tomato plants. A good many very pleasant little songbirds will be with you most of the way. It will never be too cold (your northward movement is that of the average last killing frost), and you will not be in any great danger of a heat stroke. In effect, you will have made spring stand still for four full months, and by that time you will perhaps have had enough of it.