A wise, older gentleman told me on the rail trail yesterday after I whined about the condition of the trail like a petulant three year old.
Granted, it was 65 degrees out (temps for most of the week were trending above average), and I was dressed in shorts, a long sleeve shirt, and my running shoes. The trail, however, as far as my naked eyes could see (I don’t wear my glasses when exercising) was covered in ice with a narrow sliver of brown ground showing in spots.
This was after I had been lulled into a false sense of spring. The first quarter mile of the trail was clear of snow and ice. I did have to dodge puddles of clear water and mud pits larger than my sneaker, but I could pick a generally safe path for running.
Now, the scene had changed. Significantly. I decided to proceed, hoping that my luck would change the further I progressed. I was wrong. It actually worsened in places. Just walking was akin to taking my life in my hands. Running would have been risking life and limb…and not just a twisted ankle. A broken neck, perhaps? So my plans for running quickly morphed into survival of the fittest. At least I was getting fresh air, right?
As a youngster, I equated spring with the obstacle preventing the arrival of summer. It was filled with unpredictable weather—a snowstorm here and there that melted in a day or two. Soggy ground where a slip meant one got covered in mud. Oh, yes, the ground provided plenty of material for mud pies, but as I grew older (and more princess-like?), I despised the muck and the mess. I wanted bright sunshine extending into the evening so I could be outside, exploring whatever nature had to offer (just not spiders, of course).
Now, my perspective has changed. I recognize spring as a time of rebirth, of the earth shaking off winter’s grasp. I appreciate the scent of fresh air and sunshine filtering in through my cracked window. I savor closing my eyes and pointing my face toward the sun. Sweater weather isn’t a bad thing—it beats down parka weather.
I look forward to the greening of the landscape. I eagerly await the first blooming crocus, the daffodils pushing through the small piles of remaining snow. And most of all I await brilliant blue skies with green grass, thick and lush. A warm breeze tickling my face. And plentiful sunshine interrupted every now and again by a thunderstorm.
Thank you, Spring, for making these things possible.