Preparing for spring

Most times I try to put words to a notion, it turns out that a poet has already done it, and done it better. So it is with Robert Frost today, just a few days from the official start of spring here in the northern hemisphere.

… Bring the singer, bring the nester;

Give the buried flower a dream;

Make the settled snowbank steam;

… Bathe my window, make it flow,

Melt it as the ice will go;

… Run the rattling pages o’er;

Scatter poems on the floor;

Turn the poet out of door.

(from Robert Frost’s “To the Thawing Wind”)

On the cusp of spring, we’ve been heeding Mr. Frost. Recent weeks have often found us as busy out of the library as in. Hence we have some (mostly) non-bookish news to relate.

First, Everett Spencer Shelley

This week saw the birth of Paul’s son. We are thrilled to report that Everett, Mom, and Dad are out of the hospital and home. Those of you accustomed to email responses from Paul at virtually all hours of the day may need to temper expectations for a while. Everett, it seems, is having a go at being a nocturnal mammal. Paul, alas, is not. In fact, he is so sleep-deprived he’s even lost his reflexive gift for terrible puns.

Some of you may note Everett’s middle name and wonder if that is a nod to Mr. Churchill. Hmmm…

In the meantime, while Paul was preparing to become a father again, Marc was in Richmond, Virginia, competing in U.S.A. Fencing’s North America Cup as a Veteran (a respectful term for “old guy”). This is one of three national fencing tournaments held in the U.S. each year. Think thousands of people dressed in white trying to stab one another in a convention center.

There were months of training, daily workouts, diet adjustments, and all rest you’d expect from an aging athlete. Despite this, Marc made a poor showing the first day of competition. In classic “adapt and overcome” spirit, he tried a different strategy for the night between the first and second competitions. This cunningly crafted plan involved three different bars, late night (well, technically early morning) fried chicken, brief, inebriated sleep, and then being up at 6:00 AM to compete. Apparently, that’s the winning recipe, since he made the podium at a national tournament for the first time.

If you’re ever in Richmond, may we recommend The Jefferson Hotel bar. Strikingly beautiful place. Strikingly good bartenders. Suffice it to say that given the indulgences of the night preceding and the podium the following morning, the conventional training regimen is officially under review…

But for now, spectating is on the agenda. Track season just started and Marc’s 15-year-old daughter has eyes on the hurdles. A league champ as a freshman last year, Dessa is aiming higher this year. If you happen to be a hurdle, don’t get in the way…

If there is a bookish flag being carried, it is by CBC’s own Aaron Styza. Last year, Aaron founded, edited, and oversaw publication of the inaugural issue of Thuya Poetry Review. For those of you unfamiliar, it is a huge effort to launch a credible literary review. There’s not only the considerable setup and logistics, but the necessity of securing a ludicrous abundance of submissions, all to be carefully read, and from which to cull a select few for publication. All this Aaron and his team did. Click HERE to check it the Thuya Poetry Review website. 

Note that Thuya’s submission period for the forthcoming Issue #2 recently opened…

For those of you sharing a hemisphere with us, our best wishes for coming spring. In Marc’s final minutes in Richmond, just before he caught a ride to the airport, he caught this Cherry tree just beginning to bloom – quite a beautiful herald of the impending season. Spring is a headlong thing, full of urgency, with no patience for hesitation. May the heady thaw and rush of spring find you likewise, making haste in pursuit of your own passions.