Today marks the first day of spring. I am looking through my office window at a lawn that has suddenly become threatening to the button downed neighborhood that we live in. It occurred to me that we are shaking off the chaos of winter in anticipation of a new season and new adventures. When you are retired, with no deadlines, pending projects and production schedules, you begin living rather than existing between critical events. This explains why older people lament the passage of time. We are not tied to a clock. When we look at a calendar, we are often shocked.
On this first day of spring, we have plans that reflect little reference to time, rather a response to conditions. Breakfast is not on a schedule. There is no specific time for that first cup of coffee, and I am more interested in a busy Robin outside my window than the happenings in Washington. More as a result of budding trees and the sounds of a lawn mower last evening, I instinctively know the crappie will be schooling on secondary points, the canoe trailer tires need to be aired up and the RV unbuttoned after reposing for nearly a year while the world was preoccupied with a virus. We will drive over later today to Pryor’s Pizza, a hundred miles from here, to enjoy our favorite pie after a slow drive through Piney River country. Neither of us has given much thought to tomorrow as we have little desire to mingle among those unfortunate souls who have only the weekend to live life. Another, non calendar, indication of spring is the breakup of tom turkeys from their winter bachelor groups into fierce competitors for the affections of amorous hens. I have no date on a calendar for this event, nor for the blooming of dogwood trees, signaling the movement of crappie to the banks to spawn. Calendars and watches mean little when nature talks to you. When float trips are spontaneous, a trout adventure is arranged the day before and conditions are just right for a mess of morels you go. You are relying on what guided the Native Americans long before the advent of fancy watches, cell phones and a calendar clutched in your hands or within easy reach. It is a beautiful time to be alive.
To be sure, the schedules of folks who are still slaves to some master somewhere, interfere with our ability to drift. There are appointments for doctors, and vehicle maintenance. You must schedule your adventures with the RV, thus assuring an available camp site, although we often dally when we travel, preferring to simply “pull through” at a campground for the night, never unhooking from the “BAT” (big assed truck). We enjoy traveling in our abode instead of to an abode, thus permitting spontaneous stops and roaming about. This freedom opens new adventures, such as visiting an Amish family in Pennsylvania and enjoying a pastry in their kitchen, or pulling off and glassing elk and antelope.
The blissful dismissal of time as your master has it’s perils. I mentioned the often expressed dismay with the passage of time by folks who have used a lot of it in their lifetimes. The ability to wander, drink in this unbelievable country and answer to your inner clock rather than a wall clock results in sadness and shock when you suddenly find yourself getting senior discounts and preferential seating. I am closing with this advice: embrace life that is not tied to a timepiece, shamelessly exploit your freedom to go and do what you damn well please, when you want to, as opposed to when you can. Live life doing things that matter to you and not a “boss”. Finally, measure time in months rather than hours. The American Indian understood more about time, with little regard for numerical measurement, than you might guess. Spring is here. I know this because of the trees, birds and morning warmth when I enjoy a coffee. Embrace the freedom in a state where freedom is still sacred.
Have a great weekend!