When I was a boy, all winter I waited for the first sign of spring. And when it arrived, I took my baseball glove from under my mattress and looked for somebody to play ball with. As a young man, it meant time to go out and play with my young daughters in the sprinklers or mow the lawn and just enjoy the weather.
And when I was in my 30s, spring was a time of anguish. There I sat in my wheelchair watching as life renewed itself, but I did not. I watched outside as joggers and sports enthusiasts stretched their muscles. And all I wanted to do was go to bed and cry. I felt so painfully alone in my suffering.
For the next five years I couldn’t go near a softball field or a golf course without wanting to cry.
And as I wrote about in Letters to Sam, one day Sam and his dad invited me to go on the golf course as Sam was just learning to hit the ball. Moment by moment I felt exhilaration and gratitude. And in the next moment I felt grief and sadness over all I have lost. A moment later, I watched my precious grandson as he hit a beautiful shot with his seven iron.
And today, nearly 35 years after my accident, I find myself again being like the little boy I once was. Looking forward to spring hoping I would experience the joy of watching the trees bud and the forsythia’s light up the foliage signaling what was to come. This spring is more precious than the one last year. And if I am fortunate enough, I would guess next spring would be even more precious.
The young boy liked to smell the oils in his baseball glove, feels the texture of the ball in his hand. He loved the way his left hand felt when someone through the hardball to his glove. He knew the special feel of his Little League field.
And the old man, smells the fresh cut grass of his lawn, feels the cool air touching his face, loving the richness of the life that surrounds him.
And this is The Wisdom We’re Born With. This is how letting go and opening up to the lives we have feels. This is about Restoring Our Faith in Ourselves and the world around us.
After all, this is how nature does it and it seems to work out pretty well there.