Saturday I worked in the flower beds at the house with Karisse. She had bought some new flowers for the year, and it was time to put them in.
It's a ritual we go through every Spring. Toward the end of hawking season I'm thinking about putting the hawks up for the Summer moult. I won't fly them again in the field until September. In the mean time the game we chase will get a rest, and the snakes will come out, do their thing, and slither back into hiding for another Winter, and won't constitute a threat to the dogs or myself. The grass decides it's gotta grow again, so the little ritual with the flower beds constitutes a change of activity from taking the hawks and dogs out to mowing the lawn, trading the Winter's adventures for the more agricultural pursuits of the homestead, from garnering protein for the larder to carbohydrates for the pantry.
But there's a problem. I figure that the exercise of gardening and yardwork will take the place of hawking so I don't get fat and lazy, but the muscles I used on Saturday haven't been in regular use since...well, since last Spring when we went through this little ritual last time. Why is it that muscles are not merely our general muscular system, that the body is not merely the body, an all-purpose tool with which to do the tasks of life? No, the body is filled with intricacies and unexplored dimensions that only come out when you push the limits, and with increasing age those limits, rather than expanding as they did in my youth, seem to be going in the other direction. Aargghhh!
Problems aren't all bad, however. I guess if all I did was fly my hawks only my legs and my left arm would get to be really buff. This balance with more domestic chores restores a physical balance. It restores the relationship with my lovely wife as well. After almost 31 years married she is used to my relative absence during the cooler days, and she looks forward to having me around more. I need both "me" time and "we" time, now it's time to balance the books a bit.
So just as Winter turns into Spring, so life turns on the great wheel of time, balancing each season's excesses with a corrective exercise. Yes, it stretches the muscles and causes a bit of stiffness in the back and in the soul, but when seen from afar the whole is a beautiful thing to behold.