SOCORRO, New Mexico (STPNS) -- Itís the time of year when the spring sun and warmer days makes us all feel a little younger and gives us a feeling that anything is possible. Maybe itís the flowers and the trees that keep waking up and finding a reason to keep going each spring that keeps us moving ahead. Maybe itís the birds, bees, tiny bugs, spiders, worms and all of the other millions of creatures that lead the way every spring into summer. We can hardly wait to see the first of them marching around in the bright morning sun. Why then after a couple of weeks do people want to get rid of them? Can a few bugs blindly finding there way into the pantry really wreak havoc on our lives? The answer is no.



I say live and let live Ė unless they are wasps Ďcause wasps are like that mean old lady you lived next to when you were young Ė nothing can make her happy and sheís always out to get ya. Yeah, wasps are fair game. Sorry.

I love spring because I can go out into my yard and say hello to some of the same Robins that I have been seeing for quite a few years now. They stand next to me when Iím watering the grass and pick the grubs out as we walk together across the yard. They know I wonít hurt them and that the bird feeder and bath will be full each and every evening before I go inside.

Old Jack, as I like to call the three foot Jack Rabbit that lives in our one acre yard still just sits there quietly as I throw handfuls of mini-carrots all around the property every evening. Heís huge and I think Iíve played a big part in that. I donít know if thatís good or bad, but I enjoy knowing that he knows Iíll be there every day and heís assured of a good meal. I have my spring routine out in the yard and lots and lots of time to think.

I find myself talking to all of the animals and even snails and bugs when Iím out there. I laugh at myself when I realize that Iím trying to have conversations with a bug, a bird and even a wasp or butterfly from time to time. Sometimes the best conversation is when youíre talking away and you can imagine what Godís little creatures are saying back. Itís always a cordial conversation and you never have to worry about saying the wrong thing. The bug shrugs his shoulders and says, what? Wadaya want from me, Iím a bug. Then skitters away. Weíve built up a trust system in my huge yard, I donít step on them, and they donít crawl up my leg and scare the hell out of me.

You people ever seen an old fat guy jumping up and down hitting himself with a rake because a ladybug has landed on the hair on his leg? Yeah, real funny. When Iím done jumping and my breathing is normal again I look around to see if anyone was watching and kind of pretend that I was dancing on purpose. Really sad, but I know Iím not the only man that turns into a tiny girl when a bug lands on him.

Well .... Iím not.

I guess what Iím trying to say is that spring always seems to breathe new life into every living creature. I watch people I know seem to stand a little taller. Just like flowers, we turn toward the sun. I see people smiling more and getting a little more active and interested in what goes on around them and even those we all know that hardly ever make a peep or say hello will actually stop and talk for a minute or two. Yeah, spring is too neat.

Iím going to try my tomatoes and peppers and other stuff I try growing each year. Some years good, some not so good, but itís always the same feeling I get. We all get it. Some mornings I wanna go outside and buck and kick and roll round in the dirt and mud like a stallion, but my horsey part broke many years ago and now I just kind of slowly walk around in my 55 year old body and smell the flowers and turn my face into the sun every opportunity I get. I consider it an honor to sweat these days while Iím working outside because I get a real sense of accomplishment. My parents, in their 80ís say, ďoh son, come inside and rest with usĒ. They think I do too much and work too damn hard at every thing I do. Truth is, Iím loving it all. Iím soaking in the sun and smelling every flower, plant and fruit that I can, while I can.

Iím outside working in a glorious place for my brother Chris and my sister Alberta who canít do that anymore. I share those days outside for them and my parents, in the dirt, weeds, water and sunshine for as many spring days as I can. I hope all of you do the same. Get outside Ė drag the kids away from the dork box and show them that all kinds of life is happening in their own back yard. Get out and take the breaths that are filled with freshly cut grass smells and listen. Listen to the birds and the life sounds that have slowly become muffled background noise throughout your life. Listen. Just sit down and listen. Itís prettier than any song written. Do it for your lost loves. Make the time.

Itís springtime. Itís all brand new again. No one knows how many more thereíll be, so hurry, run outside and turn your face toward the sun, close your eyes and thank whoever you have to for all of this. Even if all of this was just one big happenstance, how damn lucky are we? Enjoy the sun and breezes and teach your babies how to run, play and lay in the tall grass and stare up into the great blue unknown and count clouds. Grab a kite and put some peanuts in a soda and GO OUTSIDE! ITíS SPRINGTIME EVERYONE! Andalť