I came home from night work late one day last week. Daylight had broken. It was cold. Bitter. A North wind was blowing down straight from the Arctic. The bare trees moaned under the assault. It was early March and winter was still in control. Our little creek was still frozen as it had been since before Christmas. There have been breaks and flaws. There was even a complete melt. But, it only lasted a day or so.
Something caught my eye off to the left. It was a Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) standing on the ice up near the lee offered by some battered marsh grass. The elegant bird was huddled, scrunched into a compact oblong statuette. Facing straight into the wind he stared unfazed. Somewhere out to the North was the tale end of this infernal, biting wind. He stared as if he was intent to find it. Always wary, he saw me. His head barely turned, though. The lee from the wind was too valuable to give up. He went back to his important work of waiting and conserving energy. He was going to look into that wind until some ice melted and he could go on with life.
There was something familiar in the bird. I could relate. Golf winter started with the unexpected closing of my Course. I hadn’t played golf except at the Clinic since. Golf itself was different. RS 2.0 was a matter of conversion, learning, and “Neuromuscular Re-education.” The Clinic was followed by a month of Alison’s exer-gyrations and medicine ball swings. I didn’t hit a ball for a month before Florida. I hadn’t hit one in the month after. One thing was for sure: The golf year was going to be different in many respects.
I looked at the bird one last time before heading in for bed. He and I were both staring North. Looking for the end of the cold wind. Both wondering what it would bring.