February’s treachery. What else to call it?
The sky outside my window is a perfect springtime blue — with not a single vagrant cloud in sight.
The sun is as bright as a polished copper coin.
And there’s a brave wash of early green in the yard of our neighbor across the street.
A picnic day, you’d almost think.
But there’s the false promise of this deceitful month.
In some ways the years have cost me, as they do us all. Once nimble, I travel now with a cane. But memory — the capacity upon which I most depend — is largely unimpaired.
Oh, I spend more time than I’d like hunting for my glasses or the car keys. And I’m no better at remembering names than I was when I was 20. Those are widely shared infirmities.
But in things that really matter — finding my way to my writing desk or to the refrigerator — I’m sharp as ever.
And in times of relaxation, with no commitments pressing, I enjoy reliving the moments in this considerable reach of years that have given me particular pleasure.
For one, the June morning when I walked for the first time through the newsroom door of The Star — an environment of pressure, ruled by deadlines ticked off by a large clock on the wall.
Though I couldn’t have imagined it at the time, it’s where I would spend nearly half my working years.
For another, the trip on a lovely autumn day, down the Skyline Drive from Washington, D.C., to Charlottesville, Va., and the home of Thomas Jefferson, with the young woman I would be successful in persuading to share my life.
Much later, the summer weekend with our daughters, lodged in a small chateau — the Chateau de Pray — on a hilltop looking down on France’s Loire River.
And finally another summer day, when the first of my books — a collection of essays from our year in Paris all together — arrived from the printer.
As you’ve perhaps noticed, there’s no mention of February in any of these recollections. Whether deliberately or just by circumstance, it’s a month I’ve gotten nothing out of worth mentioning.
So I’m skipping what’s left of this one.
For more of C.W. Gusewelle, go to gusewelle.kansascity.com.