Thursday, February 17, 2011

Spring Fever

The signs of spring are on the branches of the Lilac bush; little buds patiently waiting. The horse is too warm with his winter coat, lays down and rolls in the crusty snow, then gets up kicking with a burst of energy. The chickens are laying eggs, and acting broody. The ducks are running over to the still frozen pond and flapping their wings; playing and mating with unyielding vigor..
As for myself, my memory as a teenager, that first spring day was subject to some mischief! If it was on a weekday, my brother and I would throw our lunch bags into the woods, and skip school. At the time we lived in the suburbs of Maryland; and we were hitch hiking distance to malls, museums, and the very hot spot-Great Falls Gorge.
With our thumbs out beyond the median, we got picked up by one of those striped down muscle cars; someone with the same idea of stretching the limits of exhilaration. The car and our hearts, revving engines , squealing wheels, and fishtailing down the road. Little by little, we would zig zag our way to where-ever.
Like in the movie Pinocchio, on this particular day, we ended up at Great Falls Gorge. All the other donkeys were climbing rocks, walking the trails, and seeing the beautiful falls. It was rushing water, life, freedom and the pursuit of sunburning. And by the way, you cannot get a sunburn of that magnitude while sitting in Algebra class; not unless you got the wrong answer in front of the class.
When our time of lustrous intention was over, we scrambled home about the same time as the school bus was dropping off those dull, boring, studious, kids, that did everything right in life-the ones who are now doctors and lawyers. They marveled at our red exterior and said, "Man, are you guys in trouble!" laughing as they went dutifully home. My brother and I did get caught and were grounded for a week, but oh, it was worth every minute, because the next day it would be cold again with freezing rain.
Disclaimer-Hitch hiking-I would never, never, recommend doing this unless you want to take life into your own hands. However, in the 70's a lot of us free spirits relied on this mode of transportation.

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