Monday, April 6, 2009

Opening Day optimism...

We all know what everyone says about spring; it's a time for renewal, rebirth, making a fresh start, etc. And I guess people wouldn't say it if it didn't have in it some basis of truth. There's just something about emerging from (what was for me, a brutal) winter and seeing flowers and hearing birds again. It just makes you happier to know pretty things and longer days and vacation are coming. 

That optimism is probably my favorite part of spring. And quite honestly, nothing and no one is more optimistic in spring than Cubs fans. It's been 101 years since they won a World Series and something like 64 years since they've even played for it, but there is still enough faith left in and around the organization to let an columnist write an article about the hopes of those lovable losers in Wrigley Field. 

I will be the very first to admit this is a very thin segue, but Nebraska, home to one of the most fun events in sports - the College World Series, has been named the fiscally happiest state in the nation by, as reported by ABC News. The index accounted for all the usual financial measures in coming up with the list. The Cornhusker state headlined a group of Midwest states that landed at the top of the list. 

Moving to the rest of the world for a second, I don't think there is a situation that has called more for continued optimism than the conflict between Israel and Palestine. So much has happened to both sides that it makes it hard for anyone to make any headway. But a simple Gazan doctor has been nominated for the Nobel peace prize - a man who has lost three daughters to Israeli missiles and who continues to work for peace between the two peoples. That this man can endure what he has and still not lose hope is inspiring. (

Finally, Yahoo! is reporting on a dog who was lost overboard while his Aussie owners sailed through rough waters. He swam five nautical miles to an island where he lived for four months, Survivor-style, until park rangers discovered him. The family is overjoyed to have him back and he seems to have readjusted to being a house pet again just fine. 

Butterflies seem to be the ultimate symbol of the renewal  associated with spring. I took the photo above at a butterfly garden this weekend - I thought it tagged along nicely with the post from last week about the migration of butterflies through Taiwan...

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