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Sixty-Something: A Hamptons Springtime To Be Forever Remembered

T.J. Clemente

This spring will be remembered and noted in history. (Photo: T.J. Clemente)

There are cycles in a life. The older you get the more you recognize them. The four seasons is an example of the obvious. I, for one, have always enjoyed the renewal of life every spring. Springtime in the Hamptons and the East End of Long Island is very special to me because quite frankly the wide-open spaces, the fruit trees blossom, the farm land coming to life is just so beautiful. I enjoy the colorful birds coming back, birds like osprey, cardinals and robins. Springtime has a certain spirit and soul. One spring I worked as a delivery driver for Whittendale's Florist & Greenhouses in East Hampton Village and delivered many thousands of plants, flowers, small fruit trees and shrubs to be planted all over East Hampton. I enjoyed bringing life to spring through those deliveries.

Other cycles in a lifetime revolve around world-ringing events. Pearl Harbor, The A-Bomb, the JFK assassination, Nixon and Watergate, and 9/11. On Long Island, we remember Hurricane Sandy. Now a worldwide shutdown caused by the Coronavirus is a forever time of life marker. Young children, as well as all of us will forever remember this spring of 2020. Families are huddled at home with schools and jobs suspended or on a work from home basis. Safe spacing is a phrase we shall all remember and relate to this time. The death tolls that trickle in daily scare the heck out of everyone at one level or another. The unknown is always terrifying. The world is in this together, and that is both comforting and very scary.

Normally I am getting my sailboat ready to launch into Gardiner's Bay. Every spring tennis courts are being rolled and resurfaced, golfers hit the range - while on the courses the greenskeepers prepare the courses for the upcoming season. This spring a lot of this activity is on a "safety" hold.

Yet the ocean waves are crashing into the beaches, as they have for thousands of years. The seagulls rule the sky, and the deer, wild turkeys, pheasants, foxes, and other such animals are going about their lives just like it is another springtime in the Hamptons. We all truly know this is not another usual spring for us humans.

Another example of cycles of a lifetime is the fact that during a crisis the best of humanity comes out front and center. People seem to discover a magic in kinship. They do the out of the way kindest things. They help strangers, they help neighbors, we help each other. It is a beautiful thing to see. It shines the bright light on the best of human nature behavior. It makes us proud.

We are hoping to put this situation behind us as quickly and safely as possible. However there is pain and sacrifice ahead. There is behavior discipline involved in this world-wide group effort to keep us all as safe as possible during this health crisis. We on Long Island and in the NYC vicinity are approaching an apex in this crisis, in terms of the statistics of those with Coronavirus and those who perish from it. It is a health war of sorts, and when this war is over like all other wars, we will celebrate its end, mourn for the dead, and hopefully move forward and get back on with lives. This spring will be remembered and noted in history. I am hoping next spring, not so much.




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