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March 17, 2006

Sounds of Spring

Thursday I was able to take a brief midday run on the track at our local community college. It’s the best all-weather track in town, and luckily it’s only five minutes from where I work. Occasionally I take advantage of its proximity to escape the workplace and spin a few quick miles.

In the midst of an otherwise typical workout, I became aware of a very recognizable, and very welcome sound: the metallic ping of a bat striking a baseball.

There’s a baseball field adjacent to the track, and the college team was conducting batting practice. It took me a couple of seconds to make the connection...it was spring training! Obviously that means springtime is close, right?

For the rest of the workout, I remained attuned to the melodic sound of bats striking baseballs, and it lifted my spirits immensely. (The only sound that could have been better is the more traditional sound of major-league wooden bats striking baseballs – but unfortunately, this was college ball in Salinas, not the Cactus League in Scottsdale.)

I’m not a huge baseball fan, but I love what the sport represents: lazy summer afternoons, blowing off work to catch a day game, reestablishing the connection to my childhood pursuits. Spring training is the sporting world's message that those days are just around the corner.

I took my son to his first San Francisco Giants game last year, and it was one of the highlights of our summer. The stadium was beautiful, the weather was perfect, and we spent several hours connecting over the rules and nuances of the game.

Hearing the practice bats yesterday reminded me of that afternoon, and I made a mental reminder to check the Giants schedule when I came home, to set up another day like that this summer.

Circling the track, I paid closer attention to other sounds around me. Birds were chirping in the trees. Music was drifiting from a radio adjacent to the field. College students were socializing in the grass.

It was a nice sunny day, and I was outside running. And all of a sudden, it felt like spring.


backofpack 3/17/06, 4:36 PM  

Funny, I just came in from walking the dog at the park, and I heard the exact same sound! It was a Dad and his kid. The son had the whole uniform on, including batting helmet. Just the two of them, hanging out at the park. Is that sweet or what?

angie's pink fuzzy 3/18/06, 8:10 AM  

Hey! You were running where my dad works! (Hartnell, yes?)

Tammy 3/18/06, 7:22 PM  

The only thing that says spring more than that sound (which I also love) is the smell of freshly cut grass... I got a whiff of that today, and it made me smile. Spring approach-eth. :)

olga 3/19/06, 10:45 AM  

Or budding of the tree...I can actually smell it.

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