Sunday, March 23, 2008


I love Spring. I love to see the sun already up when I wake, and I revel in the low sun's warmth when the workday is over and I sit with my wife, savoring a taste of Scotch as we relax before dinner. Even when patches of snow reflect those rays and make me squint, I can almost feel the energy of plants straining to make the buds that will soon be bursting open with the new energy of the season. Mr. Woodchuck has begun to wander on the back hill, and baby rabbits are making their first appearances of the new year. My spirit is coming alive, too.

It was about 30 degrees this afternoon, but the sun was bright and the center section of my front yard was snow-free, courtesy of the warm leach lines of the septic system hidden deep under the ground. A perfect day for a little golfing practice! So I grabbed my sand wedge and hit about 90 pitch shots from just in front of my living room window out toward the street. The white balls gathered, for the most part, in a little circle around my shag bag, and people in cars passing by looked at me and laughed. I laughed, too, celebrating the Spring that is trying so hard to banish the cold winter of Rochester.

I'm so grateful for my life and the endless variety of experiences that the years bring to it. I can feel the new muscles my workouts have built over the past two months, and I can't wait to use them to stride up and down the mountains, to synchronously strike the golf ball in a high arc toward the green, and to gently lift my little grandchildren into my arms. That physical energy also helps me look for joy in my relationships, my reading, and my learning.

Spring marks the start of a year which will progress more quickly than I wish toward another dark and cold winter. Such is life - a miracle, but finite. I savor it. I wonder why it is that my life, in particular, has been one of privilege and relative freedom from pain and disappointment. There is no answer.

Flaubert said that a good perspective for writing a novel is to be "like God, everywhere but always just out of sight" - or something like that. For me, Spring is that time of year when God's creation speaks more clearly to me, where the traces of God are more obvious. Someday the hard winter of my life will arrive, and perhaps there will be another sort of Spring just around the corner. That would be very good.

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