Happy Grill Day

My internal calendar has gone a bit awry.
I recently realized that for the last few years, I haven’t felt much of a sense of renewal until mid-to-late spring. Simply turning over the calendar to January no longer does much for me. In our family’s usual frenetic pace of events and to-do lists, there was little time for inspiration or resolutions. The chance for a spiritual clean slate passed and shrank in the rear-view mirror like a missed off-ramp. In this past harsh, endless winter, the timing was just off.
It’s not as if the physical (increasingly, virtual, cloud-based, and shared) calendar has not dictated as it normally does. The crystal ball dropped. We attended to the usual school events. Weeds sprouted magically, as expected. Bikes and lemonade stands occupied our curbs with the sun. Baseball season started on-schedule (thank the Lord).
But for any sense that the year acceptably stabilized, little until last weekend, when I hooked up and lit the grill.
It wasn’t anything spectacular, just burgers and hot dogs. But the open, heated surface resembled the clean slate I’d needed. Hearing the sizzles and smelling the smoke for the first time in months grounded wonderfully. On that bright, warm day, it felt reasonable to accept spring. Troubles, for that day, shelved.
It was a sort of New Year’s Day in May.
So, I began to consider tweaking our holiday calendar. I can capture this every year.happygrill
Not that there’s much room for a new holiday, unofficial or not. The train of events after January 1st is as jammed as a rush hour local out of town. It’s not a great place to think about renewal anyway; most of winter still lies ahead.
And, in rapid succession: Martin Luther King’s, President’s, Valentine’s, Daylight Savings, St. Patrick’s, the entire Lenten season, Passover, Easter. Earth Day doesn’t count. May Day if you’re a college professor over 60 and/or a jealous socialist. Cinco de Mayo, if you’re still in college. Mother’s Day, inviolable. Memorial Day, among the most reverential, despite how we have warped it into nothing more than a three-day weekend. That’s not even all of them, especially if you’re a parent of school-aged kids. I look forward to a couple myself, with the caveat that I will not, under a flexible number of circumstances, drink anything colored Kelly Green on purpose. And it looks as if someone also already thought of this.
Maybe, though, we can squeeze in one more. Shoving on to the full train as it leaves the station is a small price to pay for serenity.


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