The first warm day of spring set me thinking. Spring rituals run like deep currents in the gene pool of humanity. As a species we serve notice to winter. We take a stand: Winter -- get out! Enough! Then we celebrate; we have festivals, partake of Dionysian rituals. We create myths; we plant, dance. We think about our lawn mowers.
In fact, we think about all the projects waiting for us; the spring ritual for moderns. The lawn mower, for instance. Last fall I borrowed my neighbor's mower for the last two trims. My mower had lost its tune. Get your mower tuned in September? No way. Something almost decadent is such a thought. So now, come spring, I'll get mine tuned. In fact, maybe I'll get a book on small engines and do it myself. That would be the early-spring thing to do.
Then there is the door bell. Another project. It still works. But you have to depress the little metal strip until it makes contact and rings. One of the kids -- ''not me! Him! He did it!'' -- tore the plastic cover off. Unlike the mower, the door bell is used year-round. But I confess, I've let it go.