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by Dave Markwell [1]

After having been trapped in the cold, drizzly prison of another winter season in the Northwest, today was a true gift; a long-awaited and much-needed conjugal visit from Mother Nature. That lady has a sexy side. Today, she flaunted her best outfit and smelled like freshly mown grass. Don’t judge me on this…but…new cut grass and two-cycle oil exhaust from my weed-wacker kind of does it for me. The past two weeks have cemented my deep-seated hatred for the worst parts of this season. Cold and rain serve only to drive me further into my coat collar and despair. They steal a small piece of my soul every day. Fortunately, days like today exist to reverse the damage. Like much of nature, human beings have a wonderful ability to regenerate vital anatomies following a trauma. I have been traumatized this winter and today a little healing occurred. The sun is magic and has a unique power to impact society in obscure, yet very real, ways. Moods were lifted as souls and birds came alive. The music of spring was foretold and hope lived…finally. It was a good and necessary day.

As I walked through town, I noticed lots of people out and about. Streets were alive with kids on bikes and dog walkers. People were happier. I said, “Howdy”, to everybody I passed during my travels. They responded with kind looks and nice voices. I sat outside on my patio and ate leftovers for lunch with my face aimed at the sun. It was not warm…it was just “warmer”. I am not greedy about this. Just give me something. Today delivered just in the nick of time. Desperation was setting in. Moving forward seems a little bit easier after today. I can keep walking because I must, but the end is near. Spring is coming.

A wonderful day like today gives a deeper appreciation for the marvels of our world and a sense that much is right. Blindsiding this sentiment is the sad fact that much is not right. The Japanese tsunami crisis lives in stark contrast to my nice day. It consumes my morning news interest and occupies a deep place in my heart I wish would remain untouched. This tragic event is truly heartbreaking. With destruction on a biblical scale, entire communities were demolished. Loved ones and whole families were lost forever. The depth of this tragedy is immense. Unimaginable fathoms of fear and loss are being experienced on this nice day I just lived.

And while I much enjoyed my nice day today, I wish, in some cosmic, transcendental way, that days were a form of currency. I would donate this one to the poor fathers and mothers and children suffering in ways incomprehensible to me. As much as I valued and truly loved the beauty of today, I would quickly and happily give it away to the people of Japan as I think they need a fine day much more than I do. Since this is not possible, I will simply give the thought of a fine day and hope it finds a place to land, even if only for a moment, in the broken heart of a Dad like me. I wish a brief respite, a numbing from all that is lost in a world turned upside down inside a wave. I hope for the day when this face will tip to the sky and feel the sun’s magic and believe that something good exists again.

After sending this thought, I will retreat to my pancake making duties and hug my kids a little harder. I will welcome another nice day with open arms. I will be grateful and mindful and thoughtful. I will understand that while my life is not perfect, there is beauty in its imperfection perhaps more beautiful and true than perfection might be. And, in my rambling wanderings of mind and spirit, I will send the thought of another fine day to my fellow Dads trapped in the deep mud of losing everything.

[EDITOR’S NOTE:”Feel Good Friday” is a regular column written by Des Moines resident Dave Markwell, who extols to all neighbors: “Enjoy where we live. Put your feet on the pavement and truly feel how great it is to live here!” Also, you can “friend” Dave on Facebook here [2]. Or work out with him at his new exercise company Waterland CrossFit [3]!]

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