Spring is Springing

After six inches of snow, with screaming north winds as a chaser (as in, blew down a veterinary clinic in a small town, tipped over portable buildings, sent lawn furniture into another state the long way) the wind stopped, the sun shone, and people with kids and spouses chased them out of the house.

As I set out on my walk, thee or four dog-walkers were out and about with one or more charges on the leash. “Amble” seemed the pace of choice, and I passed a few as I strode along. Kids played basketball on other things in yards and on driveways. I could hear the chaos of soccer practice from one park. Twenty minutes or so later, as I got closer to another park, the “clang” of a softball bat meeting ball rang out. The wind was light, and brought the sound up the block.

Two-thirds of the park-park (as opposed to school-grounds-treated-as-a-park) had kids playing, chasing balls, swinging bats, or just doing kid things. Smaller children covered the playground equipment. Adults coached, cheered, rescued stuck toddlers, or just walked around the park, with or without dogs. Several folks with houses facing the park had cars or other projects out and worked on them, occasionally tossing back a stray little-kid ball. It’s been quite a while since good weather and no-restrictions combined, and so people were making the most of it.

In other words, the scene was absolutely normal. Blessedly normal. Kids were kids, dogs played in doggy ways, and adults smiled at both. As the sun sank closer to the western horizon, the teams folded their gear and departed, the dog-walkers went home, and hints of rose and gold appeared in the sky as wispy cirrus feathers caught the first hint of sunset. Long shadows became solid twilight, and house lights flickered on one at a time, here and there. The air cooled, even as I pushed uphill toward home. The day birds settled into their roosts, while a hint of an owl’s call reached my ears. The air smelled dry, but not dangerously so, laced here and there with smoker scent (oak and mesquite), and the perfume of a burnt meat offering.

The kids were all inside, and garage doors closing when I reached RedQuarters. True twilight darkened the sky, and one last hawk flapped overhead, headed for his evening’s repose. The wind murmured out of the south, not too strong yet. The first star of evening appeared, oh so faintly, if I looked to the side. The night shift had begun.

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6 thoughts on “Spring is Springing

  1. When I was in college, on a day as described, I was woking on my car. I barked my knuckles trying to convince a bolt that had gotten way too attached to its place in the universe. I let out a stream of invectives that wold have a Navy Chief nodding in appreciation. I finally ran down and came up for air and looking across the engine bay saw the neighbors ten year old son staring at me with eyes as big as saucers. I expect that his parents had an “interesting” time explaining about the “new” words he had just learned.

  2. LOL, I can second NRW’s comment… sigh… And the parent WAS a Navy Chief. At least you got a bit of a break, we went from cold to 40kts across the flight deck winds down here.

  3. Reading your description was almost as good as taking a walk myself. Which is good, because we had training storms all day.

    And gentlemen, my father was a Navy chief (among other things) and he never used language like that in my hearing. The worst thing I ever heard him say was, “You SOB,” when someone cut him off in traffic. And I asked my mother what SOB meant. And I never heard it again until I went to college. (I also asked my mother what “f*&# meant when I saw it written on a sidewalk. My poor mother.)

    • I know a couple retired Navy chiefs. And a handful of retired Gunnys and Army MSGTs. If they’re polite about language, you are in Stop Digging Right Now territory. Extraordinary calm means you’re in very deep.

      Locally I want to see more kids out in unstructured play like that.

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