Thursday, April 12, 2007

One of Nature's Irrational Moods

Believe it or not, I'm not dead. I've actually got a couple of dozen half-finished blog posts to prove it, but I've let my nitpicking conspire too closely with my demanding schedule to prevent me from actually finishing any of them. Enough! I WILL complete what I begin - even if it takes me weeks.... So, here's the ramblings I began last week, while wrestling with some frustrations:

I've long loved my Texas springtime evenings. Clear sky's behind distant horizons delightfully backdrop greenery that will bake into a dusty brown crust in the next eight or nine weeks, not to be seen again until next year. Breezes that actually refresh instead of oppressing whisper promises of libations sipped among good company on shady porches in evenings lengthened by Daylight Savings. Berries and melons ripen, flowers bud, and festivals open; all to entice you to slow down, drop the top, inhale the esters, and give your soul a chance to really breathe.

Why wouldn't I adore my Texas spring evenings? The question would never have occurred to me, particularly among the first truly vernal days of the new year. Until, that is, I learned their power to taunt and depress – about when I started this post.

But now that I've spent an hour and a half of my first real spring night sipping a DOCG that's perfectly matched to this cantaloupe (which couldn't be riper without rotting on the grocer's shelf)? Now that I'm sated and more than a little soporiferous, can I really whine about rushing off to work in the midst of sunrise, only to finally settle down fifteen minutes after sunset? Should I ask what I do it for when certain gentles I know and respect are nearly desperate for the opportunity to do the same?

Of course not. After all, I was that hungry, arrogant 23 year old who left academia behind to do
“something that really matters”. Informed by my vast experience, I chose to trade structure for freedom – an etiolated freedom that feeds on my time. Even if I didn't yet understand the value of the currency I was spending, I new the price of my decision and thanks to either that knowledge or blind luck, I was never bankrupt by my choice. As my priorities make themselves better known to me, I can change my mind and opt for a new set of trade offs. Maybe, if I hold true to myself along the way, I can give someone some meaningful help. After all, there's no use in complaining that I wasn't helped if I haven't helped; and if I can help, what's there to complain about?

Spring's nights may not be as warm as her evenings, but they're every bit as breezy and they do have a calm, quiet quality all their own.