Times Have Changed but the Breeze Still Feels the Same

Text By Johnny Debowski  © All rights reserved.

I grew up on the outskirts of the city. At a young age I found myself looking out the window waiting for a thunderstorm or glued to the television when their was a hint of snow flakes in the air. The weather fascinated me as did the changing of the seasons.
I loved all four seasons as a kid because each one brought something special into my life. Spring brought back life in every way, shape and form coming off of a dead winter. The birds were busy preparing nests to lay their eggs, the buzzing of lawnmowers could be heard from every street corner, the trees were dressed heavily in a new coat of leaves and the skies would turn dark with rolling clouds with the coming of thunderstorms. Even though the days were growing longer, the nights were still cool and the silence brought upon me a feeling of solitude.
Memories of summertime's gone by have a very special place in my heart. The scorching heat had us driving to the coast to find some sand and a nice rolling tide. My cousin and I would spend countless hours with a net in tow scooping up blue crabs along the rock groins in the Galveston surf. My dad, uncle and grandfather were avid fishermen and during the summer months I would tag along with them on their fishing adventures in the front bay system of Port 'O Connor. When I close my eyes I can see my Peepaw whistling a soft tune as he sat patiently looking over the salt grass where his cork danced in the ebbing tide. As on cue the whistling melody would cease, his body would stiffen and his fishing rod would whip the air in a dramatic hook set. The flat bottomed boat would shake as I looked on in admiration as he tired the red fish down and into the waiting net. To this day when I fish the salt, I mimic his rod popping and hook set which tend to give me confidence because as a kid, he taught me how to whistle that salty tune.
Summertime just had that calm feeling to it as I recall. The days were hot and long but the late evening breeze would cleanse the soul and enrich the spirit. Summer would start to fade and the locusts would vibrate the oak trees in the front yard which told me fall was just over the horizon. The changing of seasons would start once again and the leaves would start to fall from the oak trees out front. I sometimes wondered why the leaves would fall from the trees. I figured maybe the continuous vibration that the locusts made could have been the culprit.
The sound of rakes hitting sidewalks and walkways replaced the sound of lawnmowers humming in the summertime heat. The evening light would start fading away sooner, little by little with each passing day. The days grew shorter and the night time air carried the scent of fallen leaves that drifted in the early fall breeze.
Fall was upon us... the mystical 'All Hallow's Eve' was just around the corner which meant the holiday season was fast approaching. Pumpkin's littered the front porches of houses throughout the neighborhood which glowed in the setting sky. As soon as it was here, the mystical holiday was gone. Talks of Christmas filled the air as I watched for signs of 'Jolly Old Saint Nick' to show up in the stores. Thanksgiving would arrive as my family would gather to fill up on food and laughter. Soon after Thanksgiving 'Silent Night' and 'Jingle Bell Rock' would play from our radio as my mom would decorate the tree. Christmas would come, the air would be frigid and a hint of winter magic drifted on the Christmas Eve breeze. The cycle would repeat itself as did my anticipation with the changing of the seasons.
I'm a bit older now with a family of my own. I often think back to my childhood and I can still feel the cool night air during the early stages of spring. I can still see the bellowing of the clouds as they gathered momentum turning into lightning, thunder and rain. I can still smell the asphalt after a daytime shower in the heat of a summertime afternoon. I can still feel the bitter cold after a true blue norther .the slap in the face, the numbing of the nose and the watering of the eyes. I look into my son's heart and can see the magic that I once had. I just don't look into the changing of seasons at face value. I cut into each season and look into the heart of each one. Times have changed, but the breeze will forever feel the same.

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