Chronicles

Keeping Track and Who Knows
by: Mike Lushington

        Well, another spring is behind us - or what passes for spring in this sadly deprived part of the world.

        Early in May I made two resolutions: one of them was to start keeping a journal again. I had done this for years, especially when I was training regularly for competitive running and cross-country skiing. In doing so, I would make weather observations, especially as they affected my training and competitions, and incidentally, our work around the old farm in Balmoral. In recent years I had gotten away from it, but something about record keeping appeals to my sense of order, and I guess that that was why I decided to start it up again.

        The second resolution was to start each day with a long ramble through the woods around home. I have kept both resolutions to this point, so I have some data to back up an impression that this truly was a miserable excuse for a spring, even in this part of the world where the season is usually only a cranky continuation of winter. At one point a couple of weeks ago, I had lost track of where to look for the sun in the early morning; it had been so long since I had seen a sunrise that I actually forgot its location. My journal confirmed that it had been two weeks since we had had a clear morning. On another, I was rather surprised to discover that we were about to have another full moon - I was about to say that we had a moon at all, but that would have been carrying things a little too far. Suffice it to say that if spring around here is the season to test souls, then there should be a few saints to emerge from this one.

        However, summer is finally here and the first few days have been what they are supposed to be - with sunshine, some real, honest-to-goodness heat, a couple of thunder showers, early morning dews, hot, lazy afternoons, and soft evenings for sitting out and enjoying the sunset. I know that a few nice days do not make a summer, even around here, but I am continually amazed - and reassured - by the optimism that so many people have. Time and again, I hear those optimists asserting that things will definitely get better - that we will have a long, hot summer, once it finally gets going. I notice that they usually neglect to predict in what week that remarkable event is supposed to take place, but I share the hope that they are going to be right.

        In the end, most of us are easily pleased. We really don't want the sort of weather that people in the southern USA have, at least not for more than a couple of weeks. Even in the miseries of mid June, with persistent east wind, rain and cold, I am not certain that I would have traded it for the severe smog and heat conditions that southern Ontario was experiencing at the same time. A few nice days to enjoy the beauty of the place, to do some kayaking without feeling that it is an exercise in survival tactics, even perhaps to indulge in a swim or two without worring about the threat of cardiac arrest, certainly several afternoons in the hammock with a good book to doze off over - summer need not be months long, but we really do deserve at least a taste of what so many other people take for granted.

        Who knows - maybe this is the year!

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