When I first started driving it was about 1988. It was Spring and I was 16 and a half.
I had a mullet. A beautiful, ridiculous mullet that was like Patrick Swayze or Richard Marx.
I liked music (still do) and it was that year that I started a tradition. I had my mother’s car – a Chevy Celebrity station wagon (I know ladies, I know). On one of the first truly spectacular days of that Spring, I drove down a gorgeous back road in Middle Haddam, Connecticut with the windows down. My mullet was likely waving gloriously in the breeze. It was probably mid May and the trees, full and round from their leaves, were leaning perfectly to form a tunnel. I flew down that street and had Led Zeppelin Living Loving Maid completely cranked to 11.
Each Spring I have repeated that ritual. Always with that song even though my tastes have become more refined. Today everything was in place for it again, but there just aren’t any leaves yet. Still, I drove down that road with my two boys in the back seat – both of them trying to holler over the volume We’re too hungry to rock out!!!!! It’s too loud!!! Somebody save ussssssssss!!!!!!
What a gorgeous day. But I couldn’t help myself and I had to listen to a different song. This one is from The Shins and it just makes me think about being a kid and playing outside. It’s not quite about that, but what can I tell you. That’s where it takes me.
One By One All Day – The Shins
Howdy, lem,” my grandfather said with his eyes closed
Wiping the eastbound dust from his sunburned brow
A life before doubt.
I smell the engine grease and mint the wind is blending
Under the moan of rotting elm in the silo floor.
Down a hill of pine tree quills we made our way
To the bottom and the ferns where thick moss grows
Beside a stream.
Under the rocks are snails and we can fills our pockets
And let them go one by one all day in a brand new place.
You were no ordinary drain on her defenses
And she was no ordinary girl
Oh, Inverted World
If every moment of our lives
Were cradled softly in the hands of some strange and gentle child
I’d not roll my eyes so.
A softer song that makes me think I should be so darn cynical all the time. Anybody else have Spring rituals or songs?