When life’s pleasures are available some of us tend to take big bites. That being said, even if it’s not in your normal nature to overindulge in things you enjoy—warning—when it’s spring in these magnificent Pacific coastlands, and up here in the Santa Lucia Mountains, you too may overdo.
Webster defines Spring Fever as “a lazy or restless feeling associated with the onset of spring.” Although you don’t really catch Spring Fever because it’s not a sickness, it’s a “syndrome,” if you get it, you won’t realize it—until it’s too late.
It all starts when you step outside and the sun warms your face. It feels so good. You look up at the hills covered with lush grasses dotted with wildflowers or out at the peaceful ocean — then the symptoms start to appear. You’re immediately affected.
Watch for the feeling of vitality, or an overwhelming compulsion to venture further in your kayak or your bike, or maybe you have a powerful urge to pick up gardening tools, or the irresistible desire to play like a kid on Spring Break.
The things that trigger Spring Fever are so innocently and irresistibly attractive it would be a challenge not to intentionally gorge on them. Sunshine, colorful hills, fresh air, seasonal streams, and a sparking sea are all so enticing you’d have to be someone I’m not to avoid enjoying them as much as possible.
So, what’s the rub? How can someone get too much of such good things? In the throes of Spring Fever it seems perfectly natural to celebrate outdoors, paddle your kayak, ride a horse, hike the ranch, and landscape your yard … all in one day. Yes it is possible to have too much of something as wonderful as spring.
The point is Spring Fever makes some people act like Spring chickens and if you’re not one, anymore, it hurts…waaaaa. You’d think I’d learn to resist these temptations, but no. Instead I’m hunched
over, scratching my poison oak bubbles, rubbing my reddened eyes, and dragging my foot into the pharmacy like someone who should be lurking in the dark… “aloe vera, calamine, and some liniment please.”
Maybe next year I’ll remember to take smaller bites of Spring… probably not.
Michele Oksen (over firstname.lastname@example.org) lives in Cambria’s mountain community in the Santa Lucia range.