Sunday, March 22, 2009

Cloud watching, and other important things.

I love springtime, but I also love the fall. Between those two, spring looses in a photo finish, mainly because of hunting season. However, spring has a unique hold on me.

The grass in the hills is a lush green, the tree buds are opening to the world and the fresh young chutes of wild flowers reach ever upward. Even the sunshine seems more inviting in the spring than any other time of year. A flannel shirt or light jacket in the morning gives way to shirt sleeves in the afternoon. The storms that bring in the rain, scrub the sky to bright blue.

As a kid, I used to spend hours laying back on the damp grass and watching the white, billowing clouds as they split apart and rejoin to form their unlimited shapes. Any time a kid can be outside and take in the wonders of nature, it is time well spent.

Springtime is also a time of renewal and new life. The wobbly legs of newborn calves, foals and lambs try to gain a steady hold on the soft ground. The frequent hunting trips of the red-tailed hawk in my back yard tell me a new hawk may soon be testing its wings. New gosling, ducklings and chicks are everywhere out at the ranch, just as it should be.

The sounds of kids playing and the unmistakable ping of an aluminum bat connecting with a baseball is another sign spring has arrived. Little League signups are posted in town along with the ones for soccer teams. Springtime is for kids, and for the kid in all of us.

The first beautiful weekend starts me planning all kinds of outings. Outings I never find the time to do. When it's sunny and 70 degrees outside, it feels as though spring will last forever. Soon all those picnics out at the ranch and field trips with the kids that I meant to take seem a little less appealing as the temperature climbs into the 90s and closer to the century mark. I still have my wish list, and this year, I may just find a way to check a few of them off.

I have yet to see Yosemite. Go figure. I have seen Yellowstone twice and its three states away. One of the most beautiful and scenic places our planet has to offer is 4 hours away, and I have not taken the time to see it with my own eyes. I would also like to have an overnight picnic in the hills somewhere this spring. Nothing too fancy, just the family and a few friends, a good meal and watching the campfire burn down to a bed of glowing coals while we talk and enjoy the cool night air.

Granted it's not a very sophisticated list. I'm not asking for a train ride through the wine country or an outdoor symphony in Golden Gate Park, these are just simple outings that I hope would be something our family will enjoy together. It seems these days we are all pulled in different directions. My son and I will do one thing while my wife and daughter do something else. I really want to spend time together doing something we all will enjoy. Our children are growing up so fast, I feel like I have missed so many chances already. This year will be different.

I will keep you posted.

1 comment:

fishface said...

Growing up, my parents took us camping each summer to Yosemite. We would start with a week in Pismo Beach and then haul the trailer up to Yosemite for a week. It was the summer trip we always looked forward to. I have such wonderful memories of it. You should definitely take the family and spend a few days.