Monday, May 23, 2011

Season of Searching

Spring is here. From my front porch I see cardinals whistling their song of lust from the tree in my front yard. Bicyclists rush past my house shouting “Clear, Clear, Clear!” and “Right Turn, Right Turn, Right Turn” followed by “Hep! Hep! Hep!” There is a cat sitting on a log across the street trying not to move as he stalks a robin that is catching worms in the wet grass left over from my neighbor’s efforts at washing his car.

Yes, warm weather is officially here in the heart of the south. Temperatures are up, citronella candles are burning and there are rumors the Brood 9 Cicadas will be emerging from their 13 year slumber any day now. People are starting to move a bit slower, air conditioners seem to be working overtime and the beaches here in Virginia are starting to fill up with tourists complaining about the humidity and lack of waves with the ability to surf on. Not that some of these tourists would know how to handle large waves with an incalculable undertow.

Ahh… Spring turning to summer… A time when kids forget what they’ve learned in school, teachers pick up part time jobs as waiters and more and more folks flock to the cool, canned air of malls, movie theatres and museums. When the pollen from the flora and fauna are so thick that you can barely catch your breath and every car in the tri-state area is a pale shade of green. Yup, it’s time for the hazy, lazy days of summer.

Watermelons’ ripening on the vine and the sun stays in the sky longer; most folks take life a bit easier. Me? I start working harder. But ya know, the older I get the harder it is for me to keep pace with my old self. I’m chasing after the memories of my youth and that is not an easy thing to do. I hear from people all the time about how tough things are for them. They can’t find a job, they can’t get ahead, they can’t find friends, they can’t… Aww, you know the song. I don’t have to spell it out for you. But you know what I say to them? Do you? It’s simple… Just do what you can to survive. Do what you have to do. It’s that easy. Especially now, when most folks want to slow down and enjoy the longer days by sitting on the beach or in the shade, I try to speed up. And, so can you.

Ya know, Thomas Jefferson only believed in taking two days off a year, the first was New Years Day and the second was July 4th. Since he was a Deist he did not celebrate any religious holidays nor did he celebrate birthdays. He just wanted to work and look where that took him. Not that I’m comparing myself to Jefferson or his work ethic. I’m just pointing out that even our founding fathers were hard workers and tried to do everything they could in their power to make a better life for not just themselves but also the future of the country they were forming.

But it’s summer time, almost… and I need to take a much needed break. Not from writing, not from my family but from work. So, in a few weeks I am going to take a few days off. Well, I’m going to try to at least. I’ve submitted my paperwork and I am currently waiting for the approval signatures. My work has taken on a life of its own and demands as much attention now as it did when I took on the job eight years ago. These past two years have been nothing but a blur of days and nights, storms both natural and manmade. I’ve traveled to see long lost friends and made some new enemies close to home. Seasonal celebrations have been mostly phoned in and the few conversations I remember with my close friends seem to take place either outside in the cold, heat, rain or wind. I enjoyed those times and I look forward to those brief interludes of friendship that seem to warm my soul more than lying on a sun drenched beach of the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

The earth has moved through eight of its season’s and I can’t seem to truly remember any of them. Sure, I see the glitter of winter’s snow in the photos I’ve taken, the sun burst leaves of autumnal foliage and the pantone palette of spring’s blossoms. I have enjoyed each of those photos. And the brief memories that well up inside my mind’s eye and all the emotions those memories bring with them. Those emotions and memories make me realize how starved for more memories and emotions that only experience with close friends and family can bring.

John Donne wrote: No man is an island, entire of itself...any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind… I suppose this is what I am getting to… I need to become more connected with people that increase the value of the seasons of my life.

With this thought I am going to sign off for the week and go in search of more experiences and fulfilling seasons.

Be good to each other this week.

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