How to Get to Spring? That’s a good question right now, given our current circumstances. But Jon Brooks‘ title does not contain an interrogative; it’s more of a manual. The short teaser video displays a montage of cover art, a snowflake giving way to a flower. The second pressing yields a sun. Spring is going to come whether we resist it or not, whether we doubt it or not. Most of us are ready, yea, more than ready.
The flash fiction attached to the release is allusive. The interpretation is up to the reader, but has something to do with perspective, connection, and change. The same thing holds true for the release. We are freed to overlay our own interpretations. Either way, the question of how to get to spring addresses one’s mindset more than the landscape. How will our hearts get to spring? How will we be able to participate in the awakenings around us? Is it proper to enjoy a beautiful day, a sprout, a sprite, a forest spirit, when all around us seems to be gloom and death?
Of course it is; it’s the path to a heart of spring, the spring in one’s step, the spring forward of daylight savings time for those who observe it. As Marty Rubin writes, “the deep roots never doubt that spring will come.” There they lie, buried beneath the earth, exiled from the light. And yet …
Jon Brooks’ album scores both inner and outer awakening. The drums wait until the second track to appear, which isn’t very late; they seem excited to burst forth. “Dreaming and Dreaming Still” starts with a humble piano, each note a tiny bud. The quiet chime of a music box is met with a rustling of twigs. On “Dandelion Time,” the guitar is the main instrument, accompanied by sparkling synth that sings of spring. When those yellow tops appear, we know we’re near. (On behalf of our children, we apologize to the dandelions for those times we’ve plucked and chanted, “Mama had a baby and her head popped off.”) Soon the yellow will turn to white, and we’ll all be making wishes.
The album leans forward, eager to reach the title track. But “How to Get to Spring” is less a definitive finale than it is an acknowledgement. To quote the Song of Songs, “See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come.” (Richard Allen)