Yes it’s my real name. No I was born in the fall. No my parents weren’t hippies. Of course there’s a story to how I got my name. It took my Mom six years to get pregnant. On the February day that she found out about me, the flowers were beginning to bloom and the birds were singing (or so the story goes). She pronounced to my Dad: “We’re going to have a baby and it’s going to be a girl. We’ll name her Spring.” My Dad made a bad joke about bedsprings, but my Mom was not to be deterred.
I wasn’t particularly fond of my name growing up. You know how kids love to tease (boy-oy-oing). And the grown-ups, well, they tease in a different way, using ditties and jokes. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard: Spring has sprung the grass is riz, I wonder where the boidies is or Do you have a brother named Winter? For the record, I don’t. That is, I have two younger brothers, but they got “normal” names (Don and Todd). I have also been called every seasonal name under the sun (April, May, June) along with vaguely related appellations (Star, Sun, Twig, Brook, Stream).
My naming seems to have been quite an aberration for the times. It was definitely not cool to have a weird name like mine, let alone Moon Unit or Apple. There was only one other precedent for my name back then, Spring Byington, an actress who appeared in many films (Little Women, Mutiny on the Bounty, You Can’t Take it With You) as well as on TV and stage from the 1930s through the 1960s. I once asked my Mom what she would name my sister (I desperately wanted one, but my Mom was not cooperating). She said, “Wendy.” Are you kidding me? I tried out different monikers; I was Vicky at figure skating, Kim at Brownies, but grew to accept my seasonal name, and eventually love it. It didn’t completely make sense until my thirties though, when I walked into a compost demonstration garden and the life I was destined for, named for, began.
And so in this week, when the flowers are blooming and the birds are singing, I wish you all a wondrous spring season.