Iâ€™m not exactly an old man.
Far from it.
And if I have any of my Dadâ€™s genes, thereâ€™s a good chance I wonâ€™t get â€œoldâ€ until Iâ€™m well into my 90s.
But every once in a while, it seems like Father Time gives us a little nudgeâ€¦ sometimes even a bit of a shove.
I used to veritably leap out of bed on an early spring morning like the couple that have plunged us into the new season over the weekend.
But in the past few yearsâ€¦ nyehâ€¦ not so much.
And this year, I found it easier to allow myself to be hindered by a cramp in my leg and a twinge in my back, under my shoulder blade, where it was just too darned inaccessible to massage it into submission.
Admittedly, the past few mornings werenâ€™t stellar, per se.
But realistically, they were pretty much as nice as a reasonable person could hope for in mid-March.
Sure, weâ€™ve had some Marches that practically offered tank-tops-and-shorts weather from the get-go.
But think back, and youâ€™ll realize that the wondrousness of those few gorgeous years has been magnified in your memoriesâ€¦ while your northern-climate self-preservation reflexes have naturally suppressed the majority of rainy, cold, snowy, freezing-rain March morningsâ€¦ many of which have extended well into April.
And Iâ€™ll never forget the year (in the mid-80s) when we experienced a killing frost on May 15. It was so cold that it wiped out all my seedlings â€“ inside my greenhouse, no less.
Hmmmâ€¦ You notice something?
Iâ€™ve just been babbling the equivalent of one of those â€œwhen I was youngâ€ stories.
But Iâ€™m not an old man.
Iâ€™m just older than I used to be, is all. Iâ€™ve come to realize that Iâ€™ve reached an age where I probably remember more springs past than are yet ahead. And Iâ€™ve come to an age where aches and pains have started becoming a minor nuisance, now and again.
And the nows and agains are likely to start arriving more closely together.
Last year â€“ and already this year, too â€“ Iâ€™ve been building a realization that many of the people I know who are within my age range arenâ€™t going to be here forever.
Donâ€™t mistake any of this for depression, or remorse, or some profound sadness at aging. On the contrary, Iâ€™m quite pleased, in the main.
Iâ€™m relatively healthy, and I can do pretty near all I used to doâ€¦ except I just have to be a little more careful about doing it, is all.
Sure, there are some people I wonâ€™t be seeing anymoreâ€¦ except inside my head, where I continue to enjoy their company and, in some cases, continue to listen to their sage advice.
Nope. All I have to do is look at the grandkids, and I feel like dancing at the edge of a high cliff-top and offering a joyous rendition of The Circle of Life â€“ at the top of my lungs.
Except, my balance isnâ€™t as perfectly tuned as it used to be, so I donâ€™t feel quite as comfortable getting too near that cliff-edge anymore.
And thereâ€™s that darned pain in my leg every time I stand up too quickly â€“ might put a bit of a crimp in my dancing style.
And then thereâ€™s that little pulled muscle under my shoulder bladeâ€¦
And then, too, I can guarantee that that dancing wonâ€™t be happening too early in the morning, at least not until Iâ€™ve worked out some of the kinks.
And besides, most of those things you do in spring can easily hang off for another week or two.