It is spring. I plan to try to control myself this year, to watch the progress of the season in a calm and orderly fashion. In spring I am prone to wretched excess. I abandon myself to flights and compulsions. I veer into various states of physical disarray. For the duration of one entire spring I played pinochle; another spring I played second base. One spring I missed because I had lobar pneumonia; one softball season I missed with bursitis; and every spring at just about the time the leaves first blur the willows, I stop eating and pale, like a silver eel about to migrate. My mind wanders. Second base is a Broadway, a Hollywood and Vine; but oh, if I'm out in right field they can kiss me goodbye. As the sun sets, sundogs, which are mock suns--chunks of rainbow on either side of the sun but often very distant from it--appear over the pasture by Carvin's Creek. Wes Hillman is up in his biplane; the little Waco lords it over the stillness, cutting a fine silhouette. It might rain tomorrow, if those ice crystals find business. I have no idea how many outs there are; I look through the left-handers, staring at rainbows. The field looks to me as it must look to Wes Hillman up in the biplane: everyone is running, and I can't hear a sound. The players look so thin on the green, and the shadows so long, and the ball a mystic thing, pale to invisibility. . . . I'm better off in the infield.
When spring springs, the world (and everything in it) goes a little berserk. For Dillard, it's all about surrendering to obsessions. Pinochle and softball. Distractions. Sundogs and silhouettes and rainbows. Trees burst and pop, giving in to the same Dillard excess. As winter approaches, the compulsion is to eat, pack on pounds for the upcoming cold. As spring nears, Dillard fasts, becomes pale and thin. Transforms into something new. Blossoms, if you will. Changes into something new.
Spring has come to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Snow fell yesterday. Snow is falling now. In fact, snow is in the forecast for the next week, with a one-day break for sunlight and blue skies. I am ready for change. Because I'm tired of snow. After months of cold and gray and white, I'm ready for some change.
That statement may come as a surprise to my two Constant Readers. In the past, I have expressed my dislike for change. I am not the kind of person who embraces newness. I am suspicious of it, maybe even a little threatened by it. I have friends who love change, thrive on it, even. I love these friends, but I don't understand them. "Sharon" recently left her full-time job with benefits and opened a private therapy practice. She loves her new life.
Spring is here. Change is on the way. Warmth. Leafing branches. A little while ago, I actually applied for a different job. Had an interview. Lost that job to a twenty-something girl. I went out, invited change into my life, and it punched me in the face like a bully on a playground.
So, if you're keeping score: Change--1, Saint Marty--0.