Ain’t spring great? The cold, gray days of winter give way to a world of colors, longer days, and warmer temperatures; and we emerge from hibernation to celebrate the newness of it all. The Cherry Blossom Festival is in the spring. So is Easter. Spring is the season of new starts, renewal, and blossoming hopes. It is the season of love.
And there is no better way to see this than on the golf course.
Oh, I’m not talking about the game, although to really understand what I’m talking about I have to take you there. You see, aside from acres of green grass, golf courses often contain ponds (golfers call them “water hazards”, or often, “$%#&@ water hazards”). These ponds are popular nesting spots for water fowl like ducks and geese. A stroll on a golf course in late spring will often be rewarded with glimpses of little ducklings and goslings following along behind their mothers.
But in early spring, when love is in the air, the scene can be a little less warm and fuzzy. It can even be downright scary.
I know this because a buddy of mine was golfing near a pond the other day, and as he walked over a little bridge he heard a noise. He looked behind him to see an angry goose flying right at him! Its wings were extended like Ralph Maccio’s Crane move in the final scene of Karate Kid, except its mouth was open and he was hissing. Only quick reactions and an extended hand kept my friend out of the hospital (or the pond), but the message was clear: there was a nest nearby, and the goose liked its privacy.
The utility of the story and the message would have been more effective if I had heard it before I crossed the same bridge.
The same goose came at me too a couple of days later, in full flight. My first instinct was to grab my seven iron and defend myself, but the way I was playing I figured I would miss him anyhow, so I followed the bird’s lead and switched to a full flight of my own.
As I ran, if my mind hadn’t been so focused on self-preservation, I might have pondered the message of the season. Spring is all about rebirth, when you think about it. Plants that look as if they were dead suddenly sprout leaves. Brown, seemingly lifeless patches of dirt yield to blossoms of flowers. Cocoons open to reveal beautiful butterflies. Eggs hatch into baby birds. Even the Easter story is one of resurrection after death.
Such a message encourages hope, I think. It floats with the gentle breezes of spring, giving us a refreshed sense of purpose and inspiration. It is a reminder that we should embrace our loved ones with a renewed vigor. Rekindle old friendships. Look at the world with new eyes.
The message will affect each of us differently, of course, and it is up to the individual to decide what aspect of life needs to be revitalized. That’s part of what makes spring so refreshing.
As for me, I have renewed my commitment to practice my seven iron.