Newmann: Seasonal sway |

Newmann: Seasonal sway

“What is common to all men? Hope. Because those who have nothing else possess hope still.” — Thales of Miletus, 624-548 BC

Spring is just a great time of the year. Colorful buds and blooms come out, baby birds and animals begin to emerge, the temps start to warm up and thoughts turn toward barbecues and outdoor time. The bundling up starts to wind down, replaced by shorts and T-shirts. Talk about a pleasant and positive season.

Spring is also a sports bonanza. Baseball shifts into gear, the NBA and NHL playoffs are in full swing, soccer is alive and kicking and there’s even football (if you’re into the XFL). And, regardless of whether you’re a spectator type or not, the season opens up a multitude of outside activities. Hard to sit in the house when you have some free time and can be out doing something in the sun and warmth.

So one has to hope that a bit of great spring energy might just begin to replace some of the dour stuff that’s been going on recently. Because we could use a slight reset.

There was a time when folks could agree to disagree — and actually be civil to one another in the process.

Support Local Journalism

It used to be expected that you could innocently knock on someone’s front door and not be the recipient of a bullet or two. Or go to a birthday party and live to tell about it.

It would previously have been unfathomable to think that the courts, the arbiters of impartiality, could be so polarized. Or that a Supreme Court justice could neither understand nor abide by the very same laws that apply to the rest of us (for whom ignorance of said laws is no excuse).

And the political parties … well, they seem to act more like enemy camps (with some folks in the same camps even bashing each other). Makes one wonder who actually represents who. Or what. Good luck trying to figure that out if you’re relying on some of the news outlets. Their spin will have you spinning even more. Even if that spin costs them hundreds of millions in settlement dollars.

You can probably add your own list of off-kilter events to the above. There are certainly enough to choose from.

A lot of this stuff just ends up sucking the air out of the room — and, taken in large doses, creates an overall ambivalence. Aspects that would normally cause concern just become background noise. And then the norm.

But let’s press the pause button on the negative. And maybe do a rewind.

Spring is here. It’s a time of rebirth, of energy. And, perhaps, a time when we can start to move back to a more positive track … and start to reset the balance.

Let’s hope.

Tom Newmann splits his time between Edwards and Queenstown, New Zealand. He has been going winter-to-winter since 1986. He was also a journalist in Missoula, Montana, at the Missoulian for quite a few years. Email him at

Support Local Journalism