Harbingers of Spring

Flavia PotenzaBy Flavia Potenza      February 19, 2021

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Harbingers of Spring
When the daffodils along my neighbor’s fence popped out overnight, It suddenly changed everything that is changing anyway. It feels as if the COVID cloud is lifting. I’ve asked friends who qualified for the vaccine if they’ve received theirs yet, and most said yes. I had a bit of reaction, fatigue and muscle weakness, for about a week, and it was hard to get anything done. So I didn’t. Now, at press time, I’m paying for it. We’re all anticipating the second one, which is said to produce more of a reaction. Everyone (this is not a big sample) says they’re glad they got it and a weight seems to have lifted. That’s the point. We’ve been living in uncertainty, fear, and distrust of formerly trusted government organizations (Dr.Fauci and CDC, for example), that are meant to protect Americans but were politicized, thus unproductive. Well, it looks like COVID legislation is on the fast track and once we get a handle on that, the economy will start to bounce back, maybe not quickly, but it’s another cloud that is lifting because our entrepreneurs are resilient and have been highly creative while adapting to the COVID-19 lockdowns. See? Spring. Intimations of renewal. We’re not there yet, but the daffodils and manzanitas are blooming (See the cover), and there is a little, old apricot tree across from the bench on Skyline that blooms early every year but doesn’t bear fruit. It’s probably an ornamental but seems happy with what it is. We at the Chronicle went a little crazy about spring. Manzanita blossoms on the cover, the Farm daffodils (not blooming at the time the photo was taken, but surely are now), and my neighbor’s daffodils (above), seeming bright as the sun on an early morning when it was barely up. Seeing them posing against the white picket fence, we anticipate the roses that will climb there once the spring flowers are gone. We are grateful to our contributors this time around: The Trash Warriors (Page 6), the return of the TEP News Team and “Schoolhouse Scoop” (Page 7); Joel Bellman, keeping us in touch with the world with his discourse on the politics of shame (Page 8); “A Sweet and Sacred Sound,” bell ringing at the church (Page 9). We also have an abundance of features with Part 1 of Dan Larson’s “Personal View of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory Cleanup” (Pages 10-11), which starts with his participation in field research that confirmed the astronomical importance of the Burro Flats Chumash rock paintings there. In my head, I sometimes think of Dr. Peter Alsop as Topanga’s Mr. Rogers, but he is wholly his own man who wears a lot of hats. There is no separating the psychologist from the musician, performer, and storyteller. No matter, they all come together with Kayt Leonard’s profile and his latest children’s album, “Camping with Dads,” his ninth. It almost feels like musical theater just listening to the stories that weave in and out of the music. He also knows how to be silly. Kids love that. PBS should add him to their roster of children’s programming. Watch the spring as nature unfurls at its own pace. Maybe you’ll want to match your pace to it.
Flavia Potenza
      February 19, 2021

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Thinking Out Loud