It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone. You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops.

An odd quote for the beginning of spring but it’s one that began an interesting drive that inspired me to write this.

I had spent the weekend back in the little town where I’m originally from this weekend after driving to Toronto to pick up some items. Nothing exciting, mostly technical crap for next week. On my drive back, there is a section of highway that you drive along where it hugs the St. Lawrence river, and with it the United States before the road turns to Ottawa. Here is where you can find a few stations on the radio dial that offer some interesting programming, from heavy metal to Christian evangelism to NPR/Talk Radio.

It’s today that I happened to land on such a station.

Now I rarely listen to the radio. I find it extremely boring, full of items that I loathe to listen too and too many commercials  However on this stretch of highway, it’s the main thing that keeps you from falling asleep due to the monotony of the roadway and ending up having a very brief and intimate relationship with a section of the Canadian Shield. Usually I try to browse around to find some music, eventually settling upon either the heavy metal station out of Watertown, or the rock station out of Kingston until they start playing junk or fade out near the turn to Ottawa. Today however, I found myself landing on a station that I have no idea what it is, and could never possibly find again I reckon. It had a show dedicated to literary works, poetry and prose read by various actors and what not for an hour, to which I had just tuned into the beginning of it.

Now I loathe poetry with a passion. I find it quite dull, possibly even more so than most any form of written word out there. The combination of not being able to decipher it’s meaning, it’s odd presentation of the message, and it’s mostly flowery text loses me quickly. Probably one reason why while I admire folks that can do this, I’l never be mistaken for someone with talent in writing it. However this time the subject captured me, sunk it’s teeth into my attention span and would not release it. the first reading was “The Green Fields of the Mind“, by the former commissioner of baseball, and in my opinion the last good one, A. Bartlett Giamatti. For the next hour they had items just like that, ranging from the serious, the humorous  and the fantastic that graced my ears as I drove along. In fact I was surprised that I was sad to hear that it had ended, although it was for the best as I had finally rounded the turn to head north to Ottawa and the signal was fading in and out by then.

Now as many have probably guessed, my opinion of major league baseball is right there with lawyers, politicians  televangelists  and other scum of modern society. It has been since the the combination of the 1994 strike and the friends that I used to hang with that were into baseball scattered to the four winds, preventing any hope of re-kindling. Where I’ve lived for most of the last six years hasn’t helped any. Ottawa, while a nice city, is not baseball mad. Their AAA club is on the verge of moving out of town, and the closest MLB team left a few years ago under dubious circumstances. This is probably why the MLB has, for the last twelve years, not interested me in the slightest. The minor leagues I enjoy enough if I am in the mood to see them because of their simplicity and about the actual game itself, but the MLB has for the last while reeked of nothing more than money and egos.

However after listening to that, I noticed something. For the first time since 1994, I actually wanted to go to a game. It almost felt like I had entered a state of peace, where the problems of the world didn’t matter and things were as they once were. The grass that I saw looked greener (when it wasn’t covered by snow), everything seem more alive, and the best thing of all, the smell of spring. I’ve always remembered identifying the beginning of spring with the smell in the air. I have never been able to describe it, but it’s something so different and unique, yet pleasing , that if I could bottle the stuff, I swear I’d be a millionaire….or at least be permanently happy. It’s almost therapeutic this stuff, which I can only ever find in the country. I had the windows down for the first time since early October just driving along enjoying the first day of spring and its’ alluring bouquet caressing me like an old lover.

So that’s my random ramblings. Sadly I’ve slowly lost the inspiration that I originally had to write this and share it with all, which like all inspiration is all too fleeting. Hopefully you enjoyed what little of it I got out of my head. And for those interested, here’s his reading of “The Green Fields of the Mind” for your enjoyment.