I'm sure I'm not alone in having a more upbeat frame of mind once we struggle past the winter and (finally) get to spring. Yeah, I know according to the calendar, it's not yet spring, but our recent weather is leading me to believe that while "it's been a long, cold, lonely winter," really and truly, "here comes the sun."
I always associate spring with the latin exhortation, carpe diem, seize the day and I admit it's a little easier to do that when you have an hour's more daylight, even if I grumble and stumble a little bleary-eyed for the first couple of days after we had the clocks spring forward on Sunday (there's always one clock somewhere in my house I forget about and discover later in the week).
And when you have days like we had here Sunday a week ago with loads of sun, skies of blue and scads of folks in downtown Norwich for the Saint Patrick's Day Parade, you cannot help but be (more) hopeful. We do the 'celebrate ourselves' stuff, in my experience, better now than we did years earlier. Perhaps practice makes perfect (actually perfect practice makes perfect but I get your point).
Probably like you, I put a lot of the fun stuff on my calendar, and the newspapers are good about making sure to publish it in advance as well and I make the time to attend because who doesn't enjoy a good time, in the name of building a better community?
We are spoiled for choice, with more choices always being added and you’ll hear no complaints from me on that score. There are a lot more Norwich celebrations from Rock the Docks, Winterfest through Juneteenth and so many others that happen across Norwich and around the waterfront and downtown.
And there's no lack of smiling faces and happy feet to take part, which, if you're an event organizer, is all the reward you can hope for (which is good, because it's all you'll get). But in the glow of all that hail fellow well met, let's make sure we look squarely at the municipal calendar because hard decisions with far-reaching consequences are gathering like storm clouds and other bad-weather cliches.
We who cheered and waved during the parade at those we elected to positions on the Board of Education and City Council need to be just as present when budget decisions affecting classroom populations, street-sweeping, community patrols and literally hundreds of programs that make, and keep, Norwich the place we choose to live in are being weighed and measured on how to pay for what we want with what we have.
We all stood on the sunny side of the street and enjoyed the parade. We cannot choose to throw shade at one another or at those we elected to govern. We are in this together, today and every day.