Doctor Spring stands by the door of the clinic. He grips his well worn doctor’s bag in his left hand while he shakes the hand of his replacement with his right. Doctor Summer is here to take over. It is time for Spring to move on. He has performed a great service, healing many patients, but he must take his leave now. He will rest for a few months before arriving in New Zealand, where he will continue his healing ways through the Austral Spring.
The door bursts open, nearly knocking the good doctors to the floor. A wild-eyed woman rushes in, grips each doctor by the arm, screaming “Doctor, Doctor. Help me. I am going CRAZY! Everywhere I look I see flowers of different colors.”The woman continues in a frantic tone, gesturing madly. “Every time I look at one of these little snapdragons, it is a different color.”“Some are white.”
The woman glares at the doctors with pleading, troubled look. She continues. “So I tell myself that it is Okay. Different flowers can be different colors. But I turn around and I see one flower which is many colors”“And more like it.”“That’s when I snapped. It drives me CRAZY but I can’t quit looking…. ““Please HELP ME.” the woman finishes. She looks exhausted. Her hands shake.
Doctor Spring shines his sparkly eye towards his colleague and smiles. Doctor Summer nods. Spring will address one last case.
“Ma’am,” says Doctor Spring. “I can help you. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath and calm down.”
“Now ma’am” continues Doctor Spring as the patient stares at him. “You must relax. I have seen these symptoms a thousand times. You are clearly under the spell of Superficial Sensory Saturation Syndrome.”
The woman leaps back, more wild-eyed than ever. “What?!?”
“Now ma’am” continues Doctor Spring in a calm, reassuring tone. “Please be calm. It is not chronic and it is certainly not terminal. How shall I put it……? Let’s just say that you are temporarily and superficially freaked out.”
“Yeah.” says the woman in one of those, ‘I already knew that’ kind of tones one might hear from an angry teenager.
“I know just the cure.” Says Spring, disregarding the tone.
“Look around you ma’am. See the pretty coreopsis?”
“Ahh, yes.” says Doctor Spring. “I understand.” He puts his arm around her shoulder, gently turns her to the right and points across the valley. “Look yonder. See there? Do you see the lovely stand of coreopsis?”
The patient cautiously walks with Doctor Spring.
“Focus… Relax…. Think of nothing else.” Doctor Spring and the patient look at the flowers for a long time. Gradually, he feels her grip loosen. “Oh yes ma’am” he says in his deepest, calmest, most reassuring tone. “Now look this way ma’am. See the smaller bed of coreposis?”“Yes. Come. Lie amidst the flowers, using the soft grass as a pillow. Look up at the pretty, simple coreopsis and allow your troubles to melt.”
The patient lies down amidst the small bed of coreopsis. She is calm now. Doctor Spring watches as the wild look evaporates from her eyes. He sees the reasonable, sane person within looking up at the pretty, simple flowers. She smiles. He smiles in return.
“Now close your eyes and sleep.” says Doctor Spring.
The patient drifts away.
Doctor Spring turns to Doctor Summer, offers his hand.
“I take my leave, good doctor. Best Wishes. Heal Well.” says Doctor Spring. He turns and strides casually towards the south.
Summer watches Spring as he walks away. Doctor Summer shakes his head, smiling, as he thinks to himself, “Hmmm. They say he is a crackpot, but his methods are effective.”