A wise man once said something about time waiting for no
man, and lately I’ve felt like that man. Just a few weeks ago I’m standing in a
front porch doorway watching the last of the mounds of snow around the porch
disappear into thin air, as I mused about this not being the first time having
seen this annual metamorphosis.
There was the time when I was 21 years old, dragging my tired feet off of Interstate 91, three-and-a-half days after leaving Los Angeles, with a few bucks in my pocket and a destination sign (N.H.) made from a flap off a cardboard box. My buds in the house on Route 12A charged to meet me; for when one decided to hitchhike across country in the long-ago year of 1977, you were officially missing-in-action until you resurfaced.
The porch on which I resurfaced is now a tire store, and I think of these types of things whenever I pass the spot. Sentimental fool that I am, I think of the time I was outside a convenience store in Windsor, VT, fresh from a short stint in the Navy a few years before that. The birds chirped and the sound of automobile tires sloshing through spraying puddles of water gave me the feeling of a fresh start for the taking – which it was, in a romantic kind of way.
I think of playing marbles on the muddy dirt road I lived on, and my brothers and I and a few neighbors made our way home after debarking the school bus and had time to kill. The thought of my brother flipping his bag of marbles into the air to celebrate a winning shot became memorable when the bag got caught on an overhanging tree branch high in the air, raining marbles onto the road... a Norman Rockwell moment, if ever there was one.
I think of my baseball team at Lebanon High (“our strong bands may ne’er be broken”) being liberated from practice in the gymnasium, even if it meant running to downtown Lebanon and back. The crisp wind in our faces jettisoned us to completion of the run, and even though Oyster River bumped us from the playoffs that senior year, the nicer memory remains.
And to this day, I feel that crisp air. I was feeling it in that front porch doorway a few weeks ago, happy to prop the door open and just watch what little could really be seen. There was a bird flying from branch to branch – no doubt watching me like I was watching him. I listened to the breeze rustle through the trees, wondering why it took this long to marvel at the change of seasons and what it meant. I wondered when the cones would be removed from the fountains at Colburn Park to officially mark the merging of spring and summer, and I wondered what the skiers at Storrs Hill might say at this moment.
“Time waits for no man,” you say? It’s true, and let me close with a sentimental tidbit of thought: What means little to you when you are young will one day mean a great deal. I’ve seen it, and all the men who passed before me learned time would not wait for them either, and I wished I had paid more attention to things they might have told me.
That being said, let summer commence.