04 February 2009

Extreme Emotions for Moderate Seasons

I loved Winter. As a young boy Winter was far and away my favorite season. I loved the snow and ice. I loved the cold temperatures and the warm fireplace. I loved ice hockey and days home from school.

Conversely, as a child, I generally loathed Summertime. I was a product of AC. I feared sweat, heat and did anything I could to avoid the sun's rays touching my fair skin.

Times have changed. I still love the snow, the way it clings to branches and lays silently on the fields and blankets our yards. But the cold? Blah. I could do without it. And playing in the snow? What a chore - all the preparation, the multiple layers of clothes, runny noses and such. I could do without all of it.

By the end of Fall, I long for Spring. By the first flurry of Winter I'm pining for dancing curtains in front of wide open windows, the smell of fresh cut grass and the natural warmth of the sun. My visions now are not of the clean sheets of puffy white snow stretching out before my eyes but of kids on swings, burgers on the grill, first pitch at 7:05 and sunset an hour later.

When I think about Spring and all that comes with the season of renewal I am filled with much joy and feelings that I've never known to be this strong. My senses are alive with the sights (birds queuing at the feeder, squirrels racing up the tree trunks in a barbershop pole motion, geese splashing down in the stream), sounds (sizzling grill, chirping sparrows, crack of a wooden bat, Harry Kalas on the radio) and, maybe above all else, the smells (a just-mowed lawn, charcoal on fire and the beautiful smell of warm).

That damn groundhog predicted more winter. In my mind I've already moved on. Pitchers and Catchers in less than two weeks. I'll be joining them in sunny FLA five weeks later.

It's the most moderate of seasons that is capable of stoking my most extreme emotions. No matter the temp outside all I need to do is take a gander at those front windows. I see in my mind's eye the gentle flapping of the sheers and I feel the warm breeze responsible for the movement. I'm overcome with the kind of pure happiness only a child knows, as he plays outside in the snow.

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