by Joyce Marcel
American Reporter Correspondent
April 10, 2008
LOVE IN THE TIME OF SPRING
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- On Tuesday, while the Red Sox were getting their 2007 World Series rings I cried like a baby,
Happiness often makes me cry that way. I don't know why. I cry at parades, and when the Pledge of Allegiance is recited, and at dance recitals, too.
I know it has something to do with pride. I don't mean prideful arrogance or arrogant pride. I mean the pride that radiates from people when they are doing the best they can, when they are doing the right thing, when they are joining with other members of their community, when they are succeeding at something without just winning at it.
It's the pride that infielder Alex Cora's mother must have felt - she flew into Boston from Puerto Rico for the ceremony - when she saw her son run out on the field to get his ring.
It was the pride mixed with surprise that the fans felt when Bill Buckner came out to throw the first ball. When the famous ball went between his legs in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, his name became anathema around the Nation. But Tuesday, the team welcomed him home "always," and he wiped away a tear before he threw.
So yes, even when it comes to overpaid baseball players, I can sometimes feel a kind of tearful happiness.
The Red Sox struggled hard to win that series. And their struggle made a lot of people happy - Red Sox Nation stretches across continents now. And even though they were swept by Oakland just a few days before their first game at home, the team deserved its day in the sun.
And when the Green Mountain Boys flew their jets over Fenway, my heart almost burst with happiness. I belong to these things - to Vermont, to New England, to Red Sox Nation - and these things are good.
The tears of happiness also have something to do with love. Everyone cries at weddings, but my eyes also well up with tears every Saturday when the paper prints pictures of couples celebrating their 50th or even 60th anniversaries. While the couples are often awkwardly facing the camera, in the last one they were looking into each other's eyes with love and happiness - even after all that time!
I don't know these people. I imagine there were times when the money wasn't coming in, or when one (or both) of them strayed or got into trouble. But they stuck it out, and they still loved each other, and they were happy, and they were letting the world know.
We live in a time of greed and mean-spiritedness. The world, which has always been somewhat heartless and cruel, seems to be exceptionally so today. Even our own beautiful country has committed great evil in our names, and we have been powerless to stop it.
If I grasp at the occasional wisp of happiness that crosses my path, it's not because I've forgotten about the rape, murder, torture and destruction going on in the world.
It's because my heart has been filled with despair so many times that it is close to broken.
Seeing happiness gives me a moment of relaxation. It makes my heart open and peek out at the world to see if it's once more safe to come out and dream and love and dance.
Then, of course, it hears George W. Bush saying on the radio that Iraq is on the road to democracy, and it scurries back into its shell.
Spring is the time of hope. Baseball has begun. The sap has run; it has been boiled, and the buckets are gone from the trees. The ground has melted, the mud has pooled, and now the road is graded.
The cat, who wouldn't put a paw outside all winter, is happily running out the door at the first sign of daylight. She comes home smelling of hay, and I know the nearest horse is about half a mile away.
The other day, I saw a newborn calf struggling to stand while three cows licked it clean with their big cow tongues. The ice floe outside my kitchen window is melting in the warm air. The daffodils are poking their shivering heads out of the ground. The bears are waking up (if you live out in the woods, it's almost time to put away the bird feeders). The waterfall by my driveway is, as Paul Simon wrote, "ripe and swelled with rain."
It's been a long, hard, cold, dark, icy and dangerous winter. April, come she will. I'm going to let my heart stay open, even if it's only for a little while.
A collection of Joyce Marcel's columns, "A Thousand Words or Less," is available through joycemarcel.com. And write her at email@example.com.