Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Time Portal

Part of being human is experiencing the constant pull of emotions. As we grow, our experiences blend into the montage that becomes "me". And throughout our lives, we often trigger memories that call to mind earlier days. Some of these memories can be sad or scary; others cause our eyes to mist and our throats to swell, as we recall bygone days that are special.

Much of my childhood was spent playing sports. I passed most of my summers playing baseball, often at the ball diamond adjoining the local elementary school. But come September, a chill would creep into the air, and the wistfulness at the end of summer would make way for a new sport: football.

I played organized football for a few seasons, but soon found it too regimented for my tastes: the coaches were usually drill-sergeant wannabees, and the plays they insisted we run largely reduced us to the status of machines: cogs in their own visions of glory. I was always a good athlete, playing both offense and defense in various positions; and I was the team's punter as well. But I soon found myself bored by the routine and grind of practice. By the time I reached high school, I found that playing with my friends was a lot more fun than being screamed at by adults. And so I came to spend most autumn afternoons after school on the field adjoining that same old elementary school...running and passing and punting until dark.

When I think back on all the memories of my youth, the purest joys I had came from things we kids could do on our own, when we escaped the world of adults and family responsibilities and just played together as friends.

Seasons come and go throughout our lives; and as we grow older our responsibilities grow with us. But for me, the cool crispness of freshly mowed grass on a sunny September afternoon will always call to mind touch football...and a young boy too busy having fun to worry about the burdens of adulthood that were looming in the shadows.

JEFFREY CAMINSKY, a retired public prosecutor from Michigan, writes on a wide range of topics. His books include the science fiction adventure novel The Star Dancers, the exciting second volume in the Guardians of Peace-tm series, The Sonnets of William Shakespeare, and the acclaimed Referee’s Survival Guide, a book on soccer officiating. All are published by New Alexandria Press, and are available on Amazon, as well as directly from the publisher.

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