The Roundup -

Springtime In Sidney

Dr. Dirt Special


Spring is officially here. Most people don’t get into the springtime mood, however, until they hear the birds chirping, feel the warmth of sunshine in their face, bite into a hotdog while cheering on their favorite baseball team, and – most importantly – see nature’s panoply of greens and other colors around them.

This past winter was incredibly mild. There was neither bitter cold nor significant snowfall. On a physical level, we didn’t have much to complain about. We suffered through other kinds of difficulties, however. We have had a record number of funerals – and some of our losses, like Sherry Arnold’s, were particularly hard to bear . . . They say that winter is the time of death, but this year’s losses were excessive.

Spring is a time of rebirth. Seemingly dead lawns and trees turn green again. Flowering trees and shrubs give us color and variety. Our yearly planting of flower gardens adds to the beauty of the season.Getting outside also allows us to overcome Seasonal Affective Disorder (Winter Blues) and other maladies. Tending our lawn and garden helps to bring us, as well as our plants, back to life again.

When you’re outside this spring (taking a walk, working on your lawn, or whatever) don’t forget to say “Hi” to your neighbors. This past winter’s treachery has made all of us a bit suspicious . . . Safety is important, I realize, but paranoia can lead to a vicious circle of distrust and negativity. That is a state of mind that we should try to avoid.

Several of those who spoke at Sherry’s funeral pointed out that the community as a whole was shaken by the grim happenings of this winter. We are no longer a small town devoid of big city crime. We have lost our innocence, it seems, and are in danger of losing our identity. We need to regain what we have lost. We need to rebuild Sidney into the kind of place that we used to be: a town where people are decent not only to friends they know but also to friends they haven’t met.

Springtime in Sidney is also a time to reflect on some of the good things that have happened recently. Thousands of people tried, in one way or another, to reach out to the Sherry Arnold family. And it is not a coincidence that four pastors (a “potpourri of preachers”) shared the pulpit at her funeral. Area churches have also worked together this past winter on the Lenten Lunches, the Warm Meals for Newcomers, and the Sunrise Pregnancy Resource Center fund-raising projects. Sidney is a Christian community, after all, and it is good to see that area churches are working together on these projects.

This season (the passing of winter and coming of spring) also happens to be the most important week in Christianity. It was not by accident that the early church decided to celebrate Holy Week at this time of the year. We collectively relive the events of Christ’s life: His Passion, Death, and Resurrection. Our Lord certainly knew what winter (human suffering) was all about. And springtime is a particularly good time for each of us to share in the good news of Salvation – and to be “reborn” physically, emotionally, and spiritually.


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