Put me in coach
Spring is a unique time of year. The redbuds are blooming, turkeys are gobbling and the fish are in the shallows. Shades of gray are transformed into vibrant greens as the sun ushers in new growth.
She has a similar effect on me. I’ll spend the next two months trying to rid myself of growth around my waistline assumed during my winter hibernation. Sunscreen is my new aftershave warding off the inevitable raccoon eyes and striped feet. And although I am not sure of my ethnic heritage, I know that UV exposure and Vitamin D intake suits me well. Lord knows I can sure use some of that about now.
I am lucky. Allergies have never taken up personal residence. Growing up, there was always grass that needed mowing, hay to be harvested and turkeys and bass to be chased. If I claimed victim to the increase in pollen counts for daily chores, simple deduction revealed my outdoor obsessions would be the sacrifice to aid in my recovery.
For the most part I took joy in my assigned tasks as a youngster. Confinement to the indoors would quickly run its course. The anticipation of spending time outside was often motivation enough to accomplish my parentally assigned duties. Besides, riding circles on a lawnmower was a welcomed treat compared to my futile attempt to Thursday’s dusting and vacuuming. As a matter of fact, the outdoors still remained my excuse. I had never operated a washing machine until I was happily married. In reality, that’s not exactly true. I was the benefactor of having two older sisters. You can fill in the rest.
Seasons represent change, and spring embodies rebirth. Blooming flowers, growing grass and violent weather patterns remind us of these natural cycles. As a result, we become engaged in the process. Suddenly neighbors I don’t recognize are tending to their gardens. Briggs & Stratton screams in every direction. And most of us are scratching our heads wondering why they are wearing such daring attire in public.
Beyond the apparent physical morphs are subtleties impacting how we feel. Perceptions shift. Instead of inclement weather being dismissed as proof that today is miserable, we happily acknowledge that rain helps our gardens grow. And disastrous wind-making cold weather making fishing unbearable is no longer cursed, rather very beneficial when targeting bass in skinny water.
I still remember cringing when it was announced: “Today is spring cleaning”. That was code that all previous labor relations were suspended. Individual job descriptions and duties no longer existed. Suddenly, the Martins were a “right-to-work” household. Often it was without warning, leaving me no time to prepare my rebuttal of why I was better suited to fix a fence than clean closets and wash windows.
Interestingly enough, those days ended with an altered mental state compared to its beginning. There was something about getting rid of clutter and giving the place a fresh new look and feel. Clean windows provided clarity. Less stuff translated into more space. And collective effort resulted in a shift in energy.
Out with the old and in with the new is a fitting cliché. I have a tendency to simplify without warning. Whether it be my garage, bass boat or wardrobe, Diana knows to just let me be. I allow life to become too busy. Shifting focus away from what really matters. Clouded by what needs to be done and mindfully paying homage to every place but the present.
But my occasional “everything goes” approach brings solace. Sorting through things of old, recalling the feeling it provided then passing it on provides completion. It also provides awareness. Throughout my years of practicing this, I have gained much by reducing more.
As an angler, I like tackle. Bins of soft-plastics, crankbaits and lures fill my garage. I never knew when I might need a Gold Plated Bomber Popper, but if I ever did, I had 7 at my disposal. I wasn’t always that way; in the early days, fishing from the shoreline permitted only what I could carry on my bike. Interestingly, my handful of lures and two-piece pole provided the same feeling as it does today.
Such introspect comes with experience. Experience comes with age. Involvement in the outdoors remains my catalyst. Nature is simple and doesn’t fret about tomorrow. Always in the moment and eternally giving to those whom choose to participate. I guess that is why they are called life lessons.
Put me in coach, I’m ready to play the game.