Every spring Sydney succumbs to an unusual illness. He starts making regular references to dirt, looks wistfully at birds and out windows, and utters an only slightly more sophisticated version of Nathaniel’s “Out, out, out!” Most people get spring fever, but Sydney’s comes with very particular desires to play in the dirt and chase after birds.
This morning, after a half-hearted attempt to figure out which of us was going to work and which was going to take care of the children, Sydney suggested that none of us work, so we took a walk in the mist-turned-rain to Port Meadow. It was an unusual day at Sydney’s favorite birding spot: 33 swans dotted the water, and many, many, many swifts and swallows swooped and dived over our heads. At some point they got close enough for Sydney to feel the wind from their wings. Outings like this help, but at this time of year he just wants to camp outside permanently, abandoning papers, students, and house alike. Ithaca’s long winters helped to keep the spring fever at bay for awhile (though never until the end of the spring semester), but here, where spring starts in March, rather than May, and the school year runs through June, he’s really struggling to keep his head inside!