It started with the first sounds of baseball floating into my living room from the high school next door. It quickened as shorts began to supplant long pants for my after-work runs on a regular basis. It hit me square in the nose when I caught the unmistakable whiff of a charcoal grill.
The sap has begun to run. Things are blossoming; you can just smell it in the air, and it most definitely has an effect on people as well as plantlife. I don’t just mean allergies, although I will say that whoever invented over-the-counter Claritin is nothing less than an angel straight from Heaven. When Spring takes hold, it affects our moods, energy levels, eating habits — heck, even the traffic seems different.
I’m fervently trying to relish all of it, and I admit, sometimes the results are…slightly less than rational. Staying up later and not caring so much about it? Check. Eating out more often just because it’s easier and more fun? Check. Pondering a 5k called the Hula Hustle a week after my marathon? Er…check.
But what can I say? The glorious window of time when I can have my windows open, with neither the heater nor the air conditioner slurping up electricity, is all too brief. Even though it’s still Lent, it almost feels like a second Mardi Gras, with people trying to enjoy life between the chill of Winter and the broil of Summer as much as possible.
Many of these efforts center around being outside, whatever the activity. I can’t walk past my flower pots, bereft for months of actual living plants, without fantasizing about what I want to grow on my patio this year. Peppers? Succulents? Herbs? Vegetables? All of the above? So many possibilities! And speaking of patios, my friends and I are practically counting down the days when it’s warm enough to hold our weekly gatherings outside at our favorite watering holes.
Running-wise, I feel the pull of the trails. Enough of the comfort zone of paved paths — my legs itch to get re-acquainted with soft surfaces, climb hills, and feel like they’re part of nature. I have to exercise a little restraint right now because of that whole marathon tapering business, but I did venture into the foothills this week for a jaunt on one of my old favorite routes. After so much pavement-pounding these last few months, it felt rebellious — but GOOD.
One of my favorite things about this stage of Spring is that it feels like a jumping-off point, in the best way possible. I don’t know about you, but my calendar is about to get downright bustling: Boston next weekend; Colorado two weeks after that for a friend’s wedding; a family trip to France shortly after that; not to mention weekend archery shoots, whatever my running future holds in store, and of course the aforementioned patio garden planting.
It will be busy, but exciting. My horizons will be broadened; my eyes will be opened to new things.
Maybe you’re going through something similar — maybe you’re scurrying to make summer vacation plans, or planting a garden, or searching for a post-graduation job. Just remember to stop and smell the charcoal once in a while.