When I walk the dog these days, the first thing he does, before he even takes a whizz, is lift his golden snout into the air and sniff; bobbing his head to the scent of spring as though it's arrival had its own unique rhythm. It definitely wants to be spring here in Maryland, although the weather can't seem to make up its mind. Two weeks ago we had temperatures in the 70's, flowers beginning to bloom, and gentle breezes replacing harsh winds. Turned out to be nothing more than a meteorological prick-tease though because last week-end at our annual St. Paddy's Day party we were forced to initiate a new tradition on the deck: X-treme Darts. That's where there's no telling how the darts will fly because your hands are shaking so much as you throw them into a twenty mile an hour head wind! But this weekend we're inching back into higher temperatures, and you don't have to have to be a dog to smell fresh mulch and maybe even some newly mown grass. One of the streets I drive along on my way to work just before sunrise is lined with blooming cherry blossom trees. In the dull, monochromatic pre-dawn light of early morning the ultra-white blossoms create the illusion of travelling through an infra-red black and white photograph. Tulips and azaleas can't be far behind.
The arrival of spring is heralded in Washington with the annual Cherry Blossom Festival. Usually the trees bloom prematurely and then just before they're due on stage in the spotlight, the area is battered by heavy winds and torrential rains that knock all the blossoms out of the trees. It doesn't look like that's going to happen this year… tomorrow. So, in keeping with the blooming cherry blossoms, today's Happy Medium Song of the Day is “Cherry Cherry” by Neil Diamond. You're probably scratching your head and wondering to yourself, “Neil Diamond? That seems like an odd choice coming from you, Collins…” Trust me, you won't wonder after you hear it. It's got happy harmonies, vigorous acoustic guitar strumming, hand claps(!), tambourines a-plenty, deep rock n' roll piano chords, and a girl named Cherry. Listen, any song that features hand claps, love, and the line “Ain't got no right / no, no you don't / oh to be so exciting / Won't need bright lights / no, no we won't / we're gonna make our own lightning,” is a shoe-in to be a pop classic — at least in my book. Have a great weekend!