As dawn broke across the Midwestern sky, my sleepy self along with my better half were already working our way southward. She to fulfill her gainfully employed obligations; me to gain one more footstep toward my vocationally determined destination. One more footstep to myself one day gaining gainful employ at the end of my preparatory journey. I would be traveling much further that day. And while my day would include painfully dreary and boring moments, others could never be considered such.
If I were to choose an hour to wipe the sleep out of my eyes, it would be the very same one in which I pulled into the parking lot of Seymour Smith Park in Omaha, over one hundred miles from where my day began. Dew still fresh upon the ground, this is not the typical time for those of our ilk to ply our trade. We are an afternoon-ish folk who would rather rest than experience the earlier parts of the solar cycle. Yet here I was. And I was not alone. Jiggs and his firstborn would be my companions.
I had not practiced the art of the disc at Seymour in nearly a year. I had first played the course in 2002 with the venerable SCDGA member Harky and the person who introduced us to disc golf who some here will know as the BBD. It was the second course I had ever played. It was the closest and most familiar course to me during my time in Omaha. And I would now be able to play with the person I had introduced to the game at the course where I taught him the trade.
It was wet. The fresh rain upon the ground recalling the Granite Ridge deluge of the first Cold Lampin' Weekend. I fondly remembered it as I played with one who joined me in the experience, feet sloshing through wet shoes as we worked our way hurriedly around the course. Unfortunately, schedules and responsibilities called us away to other things. Things devoid of discs. But we would have this experience. We needed it. Not because we required it for survival, but because life should be about more than survival. And not because it was disc golf. Though our compulsion to play our mutually beloved pastime is real, I would not have gone to the trouble for just another round. But because in the act of playing with Jiggs, we were sharing all the experiences of the past year we were unable to share due to distance. Because in that time that year was made manifest. It is a means of reconnecting; it is empathy; it is sharing life.
I would be lying to you if I said that eighteen holes were played that day. The clock and the schedule called to us, and divergent ways led on to ways as Frost well knows. And telling you this with a sigh, I hope to impart that despite the imperfect throws, the incomplete round and the unfortunate weather conditions, the round was perfect. It was perfect because we were able to play together. And it is a perfection I wish to share with all you Cold Lampers again.