Believing in spring

David Swan
2 min readFeb 2, 2024

February 2, 2024

Stethoscope and pen on top of medical chart.

It’s amazing how a few little numbers can make a titanic impact on one’s life. Things like, “Total length: 1.5 millimeters. Involved cores: 2. Maximum core involvement: 10%. Cores with >50% involvement: 0.”

What these dry statistics mean is that at least for now, I’m safe from the biological boogeyman that for months has been shadowing me like Robert Johnson’s hellhound. I won’t go into details except that I have no more tests scheduled until summer, so I get a holiday from “Pill Hill,” the sprawling med zone on the northern edge of Atlanta.

I only wish I could arrange a permanent vacation for the the anxious, irrational part of my soul. Instinctively, I assumed the worst when caution flags about my condition came out, and I couldn’t shake the self-inflicted heebie-jeebies for long. In my head, I knew I was belly-flopping off the deep end. Emotionally, paranoia became a habit, almost a comfort. It’s still tough to resist.

If I tallied up the time I wasted on worry, and the anxiety my anxiety caused for the person I love, I’d never get out of bed. But in the early morning hours when sleep melts away and fear comes calling, I gently tell myself, “Relax, nudnik! You can be happy again!”

When looking at life from the perspective of being well, I have no reason to be un happy about anything. Writer’s block? Temporary. A literary mag rejecting my story? Tons of fish in the sea. Raw, freezing weather? I don’t have to work outdoors. Clogged roads, cretins at the wheel, wilted produce, and online goons? Small stuff I’ll no longer sweat even when it’s 95° in the shade.

Right now it’s closer to 35° but the days are stretching out. Pitchers and catchers report in a couple weeks, spring officially arrives in March, and there’s a beach with my name on it (at least on the hotel reservation). Did I mention that my team won a national championship? Life is just fine. See y’all at the shore.

Dave at beach in University of Michigan t-shirt.

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David Swan

Writer, editor, ex-journalist, all-around communicator. Comfortable in real and fictional worlds. Always on the lookout for a great story.