Preparing for rebirth

So it’s that time of year.

Lent has begun (see Kathleen A. Mulhern’s “Lent FAQ” at Patheos).

It’s time to plan out the garden and plot out the plot.

And in Florida, grown men practice fielding bunts, working now so they can play later.

While some teams begin spring training with exciting new free agents or rookie phenoms, my beloved Mets didn’t upgrade much from the team that finished 77-85 last year. They lost star shortstop Jose Reyes — but on the plus-side, pitcher Jon Niese has a new nose.

But still it’s February, a time for hope even if we can’t find much basis for it beyond the flimsiest premise. Mets fan Joe Dorish asks, “Can Daniel Muno Be the Jeremy Lin of the New York Mets?” The reasonable, rational answer is “No.” And it’s not a good sign when fans are pinning their hopes on an eighth-round draft pick who hasn’t yet played above A ball.

But there’ll be plenty of time later on for such reasonable, rational pessimism. Right now it’s early February and anything is still possible. So right now I’ll join Dorish in dreaming of what might be. And I’ll order seeds for planting and look forward to Easter.

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  • I gave up Lent for Lent.
    Also, being a lifelong Cubs fan, I know this is the most hopeful time of the year.

  • Tricksterson

    You’re a Mets fan?  Well, that explains the eternal, pointless optimism.

  • Tricksterson

    Cubs fan?  That’s not optimistic, that’s just delusional.

  • If your yard doesn’t already have early spring flowers like snowdrops, spring crocuses, or daffodils, I recommend them.  Unless you’re trying to plant nothing but native species, in which case… I have no idea what’s early-blooming and native, really.  But the early spring flowers do make everything seem more cheery and hopeful–unless you’re prone to obsessing about climate change, in which case you not only should not plant spring flowers, but you should avoid looking out your window because everything’s coming out early these days.  (Daffodils at the end of January?  Really?!)

  • Cathy W

    I’d love to be planning my garden – but there’s a decent chance I’m moving before any planting could be done here, and “to where” isn’t entirely settled yet. On the other hand, I have enough heirloom tomato seeds for any six families; seedlings are not entirely unportable, and maybe if I get enough to actually live this year I’ll be able to share with friends and relatives.

  • Twig

    If you haven’t seen Moneyball yet, I recommend.  It’s about so many interesting things.

  • Anonymous

    I hope the Cubs win the World Series.  Then I can have a photo with my long-suffering father-in-law, decked out in our Giants and Cubs World Series champions apparel.

  • Lori

     And it’s not a good sign when fans are pinning their hopes on an eighth-round draft pick who hasn’t yet played above A ball.  


    I’m not sure which is worse, this kind of desperate hope or the kind of sky high expectations Tigers fans are developing.

    I live with serious Tiger fans and have reason to fear the crash and burn.

    But as you say, it’s spring and all is possible. 

  • Yay Friday-Fish-Special season! (I don’t remember how many years ago it was, but I thought Burger King’s “Cilantro-Lime Fish Sandwich” debuting during Lent was particularly inspired)

    I like the practice of fasting from one or more indulgences. Last year, I gave up Facebook, and found I didn’t particularly want to go back, so I didn’t. This year, it’s soda.

  • Anonymous

    I gave up Catholicism for Lent many years ago and it’s the only Lenten promise that ever stuck. 

  • Anonymous

    Pitchers and Catchers Report are the four warmest words in the english language.

  • FangsFirst

    My SGF always talked about Lent as a time to try to experience a similar sacrifice and experience to that of Jesus, and thus what was to be given up should be something significant and difficult to be without, not necessarily something bad for you.

    She pondered not talking to me for Lent last year, as she said that would be the hardest thing to go without.

    I noted that depriving someone else would not really be very appropriate, and she said she didn’t think she could keep from failing it anyway.

    (I suppose bitterness would be appropriate here, as I approach the eight month mark in our absolute absence of communication, perceived and recommended as necessity, which will coincidentally be the exact same day as the three year anniversary of our first conversation….)

  • Emcee, cubed

    Pitchers and Catchers Report are the four warmest words in the english language.

    You are so right…oh, wait, you mean baseball, don’t you? Sorry, my bad… 

  • There IS a fair amount of delusion involved…

  • P J Evans

    Well, I cut off flower stalks from my rhubarb last weekend, so….
    (Southern California: where paper-whites and geraniums are weeds but daffodils and tulips are annuals.)

  • So is that like we put a lent in your lent, so you can– :P