Howard Feldman

Do we hate spring?

2018-08-02 18:30
Istock Photo

Istock Photo

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

I am well aware that the official start to spring is 1 September. That, however, didn’t stop me from declaring 1 August as the “new spring” on my morning radio show.

I assumed that listeners would get behind the concept and not only embrace the fact that the sun is shining; that there are blossoms on some early adopting trees and that despite the early winter that the EFF seems determine to usher in, there are many reasons to bask in the warmth of South Africa’s rays.

They hated the idea.

It made them angry, slightly abusive, and it did so to a point beyond eloquence. In no time at all the SMS line became a cacophony of capital letters, exclamation marks and unmannerly comments. It seemed to frustrate them more than the prospect land expropriation without compensation does.

Nothing I said could convince them to re-examine a truth that they felt comfortable with. They would not rewrite the lessons of their questionable past and they would not open this up to debate. September 1 is spring and that was that.

So, I tried an alternative track, “1 September is a colonial construct,” I suggested, tentatively at first and then more confidently as I warmed up to the idea. “It is based on a European notion that forces us to conform to a Eurocentric calendar not of our making. This is Africa!” I suggested, “It’s time we take back our weather and give it to the month that was disposed!” 

I was a heart-beat away from playing either Shakira or even Toto’s Africa but at that moment I felt it might have been too much for them to bear.

And so, I was forced to concede failure. 1 August might be spring for me, but no one else was buying what I was selling. No one was picking up what I was putting down. August, I realised, would never see the spring.

We are often told that there are those who see the glass as either half full, half empty or even refillable. There are those who determine the weather as being partly cloudy and there are those who see it as partly sunny. Those who love the power of the thunder and those who fear it. Those who dance in the rain and those who hide from it. There are those who see the infinite possibility of what South Africa has to offer and those who see only the potholes on the road in front of them.

My interaction with my listeners this morning was fascinating to me – and somewhat perplexing. In the few hours that followed my show I grappled with the question of why there was such a tremendous resistance to embracing something positive and yet inconsequential? Why would they not have chosen to rejoice in the sunshine along with me? I wondered if it wasn’t a reflection of the insecurity that South Africans are feeling and an illustration of the fear that at the moment anything that they might have counted on could be changed.

Like land ownership.

I wondered if the anger wasn’t displaced and if it was more of a reaction to the other changes that they might fear in the country, but that they can do little about.

Another possibility is that we are more comfortable in the “winter”. That maybe it is easier to be negative and to be a victim of the cold than to embrace the sun and be deprived of the excuse. Perhaps it is easier to complain than to praise and maybe we have become accustomed to that. Maybe spring is a bit scary, and so it is better to delay its arrival as long as possible.

Either that or I just irritated them.

I suspect that there is a winter lover in all of us. I suspect that we fear change and that we are a little petrified to have no excuse for our negativity. Either way, I celebrated the glorious day that was August 1 in Johannesburg, and invite anyone who is brave enough to join me in celebrating spring.

- Feldman is the author of Carry on Baggage and Tightrope and the daily breakfast show presenter on Chai FM.

Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.

Read more on:    spring
X

SHARE:

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.