I was watching some gooey, life-enriching movie the other day where a bunch of kids were playing around in a river. It occurred to me that while I can recall how wonderful it feels to squish mud through your toes, I can't actually remember the last time I did it.
I can say the same for cane-pole fishing. I loved the anticipation, the tug, and the glorious catch of snagging bream with crickets, but I can't tell you when I last went fishing. I don't even know how much a cone of crickets costs now.
It starts sort of a "h-m-m-m" factor in the back of your head. I also loved to play basketball (although I'm vertically challenged). Roller skating (steel skates, no less) - tetherball, picnics, and football - I do remember why I had to quit playing back-yard football. I started into puberty and it became a lot more fun to flirt with boys than to beat the snot out of them.
Time is part of it. Pink Floyd had a great song, "Time," that went, "And then one day you find ten years have got behind you. No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun, and you run and you run to catch up with the sun, but it's sinking. And racing around to come up behind you again. The sun is the same in the relative way, but you're older; shorter of breath and one day closer to death."
Yeah, not really cheery stuff.
We get so busy and so involved in racing through time, that you have to wonder what gets left behind? What childhood joys have you surrendered to the rat-race run? I cannot remember the last time I slobbered my way through a cup of chocolate pudding. I can remember when the anticipation of that moment represented the most important part of my day.
I think this is how folks fall out of going to church, and I've been guilty myself. I stay so busy, busy, busy during the week, week, week, that I justify hiding at home any chance that I get. The problem is that while I'm at home, I'm not doing those things that I love to do. Instead, I'm doing housework or sorting recyclables. I miss the hoorah yippee.
The warm weather we had on last week brought on this spring fever. It does every year. I want to go find my blue-jean shorts and my flip flops. I have the world's bestest intention to go sign up for a softball team.
I played for nearly 22 years, so I wouldn't think that I've lost it all. For absolute personal glee, there is nothing better than a home run. Especially if it is partnered with a nice bragging-size strawberry on your carcass.
Deep sigh. Maybe, if I go home and get on my treadmill, the nostalgia will pass. Maybe not. Just don't be too surprised, if I show up limping and grinning some time this spring. You will know that I was up to something and had a real good time doing it.
Denese Rodgers is executive director of Connecting Henry, a social-service, networking, partnership organization in Henry County.