WOODY BASSETT: Embracing a new season as spring fills the Ozarks

As we move through the calendar year, the four seasons each present a different feel and unique vibe. Spring is next up and it has sprung in Northwest Arkansas. The most favorite season for many, springtime is especially delightful for spring-lovers who live in this corner of the state.

As nature inexorably takes its course, spring symbolizes new life and represents an awakening. Upon its arrival comes a welcomed sense of renewal. Fresh life will emerge from the ground. The grass will grow. Plants and fields will turn green. Gardens will flourish and flowers will come out of hiding, blooming in an array of beautiful colors. The trees gracing the landscape will turn green, offering a multitude of shapes and hues. Animals and birds will return from winter's hibernation. Coveted fruits and vegetables will become abundant. Windows will be opened to let the fresh air inside. Shorts and shirtsleeves will reappear. More sunlight and warmer temperatures will spark energy and enthusiasm, improving the moods of some. Outdoor grills will be fired up in backyards and on patios in every neighborhood.

With the winter months behind us, the outdoors now beckon. Nourishing sunshine with more hours of daylight offers plentiful opportunities to be outside. The ushering in of spring means a myriad of outdoor activities and seasonal pursuits are back on the schedule. The gym is still available for regular use but people can now move outside under the blue sky with a whole host of options to get their exercise.

Walking or going for a run outside in nice weather instead of doing it inside during the colder months is more invigorating and fulfilling for most folks. Yard work and mowing the lawn (I flunk in this category) will deliver a sense of satisfaction for some. Flower and vegetable gardening in the spring will engender joy and a feeling of accomplishment for many. Farms will burst with activity as dedicated farmers of every type engage with the land and livestock.

Many sports are meant to be played outside and enjoyed this time of year. For some of us, that means the game of golf. The fairways on golf courses will soon turn green and two weeks from today, in a signal to golfers that spring has truly arrived, the world's best players will begin chasing a green jacket when they tee it up in The Masters amidst the dogwoods and azaleas at Augusta National Golf Club. That's my cue to retrieve my clubs out of the closet and get back on the golf course, having temporarily convinced myself that I'll be a better golfer in 2019 than in years past but knowing I'll probably have to live to around 90 to ever have the slightest hope of shooting my age.

Area residents will enjoy numerous activities enhanced by spring weather and the longer days: walking, jogging and bicycling on our world-class trail system: hiking and camping at alluring places in this area; strolling in local parks, meandering through the glorious Botanical Garden of the Ozarks or sauntering along the attractive trails at Crystal Bridges; floating and fishing our beautiful rivers; swimming, water skiing, boating and fishing at Beaver Lake; driving trips through the towns, hills, valleys and countryside of Northwest Arkansas to view and experience first-hand the spectacular scenery that surrounds us at springtime.

In keeping with a spring ritual, farmers markets will soon open up outdoors. Our downtown squares will come alive, notably on Saturday mornings. All the area markets are top notch and wonderful for their communities but I'm partial to the one in my hometown of Fayetteville. Since 1973, the Fayetteville Farmers Market has offered the finest in produce from local growers and farmers. Set up around the picture-perfect gardens on the historic Fayetteville Square, the Saturday market is a vibrant place to be among so many people from every walk of life.

Play ball! Spring also means baseball and softball, pastimes enjoyed by young and old alike. From tee ball to Little League and all the way up to Arkansas Razorback baseball, countless people will be spending hours in area ballparks in the coming months. The Razorback baseball program, one of the best in the country, adds a lot to spring in the Ozarks and it looks like we have another outstanding team this year. There is no better day or night venue in college baseball than Baum-Walker Stadium.

Springtime is a celebration of nature's wonders so it's fitting that Easter is also celebrated during this season because Easter is about new life and the dawn of a new beginning. God's handiwork and nature's gifts to us are on full display in the spring, providing a burst of rejuvenation and a lifting of spirits.

It's time to embrace the season of spring and all that it has to offer.

Commentary on 03/28/2019

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