The woods are quiet. The smell of pines and ferns drifts to my nostrils as if trying to lull me to sleep. Then, suddenly, I hear it. “Gablgablgabl-gabagabagabl.” The calls begin to increase in proximity in accordance with my heart rate. All of a sudden, I can begin to make out the vibrant red head and outstretched fan. I begin to raise my gun.
The sound of tires on gravel wrenches me out of my fantasy. I jerk the wheel and maneuver the car off the shoulder of the road, at the same time cursing myself for allowing the flock of turkeys I’d caught in my headlights on the way to school to distract me into making such a careless mistake.
My mood is sour the rest of the way to school as I come to the realization that this year will be different and I won’t have too many of those surreal moments this spring. It’s my junior year in high school, and, at least for me, the busiest year I’ve had so far. Throw in the golf team and my school’s participation in the local jazz festival on top of the rigors of the classroom. There just won’t be as much time to pack up the decoys and head out to one of my grandpa’s favorite turkey spots for the weekend.
What I am learning is that sometimes commitments will get in the way of activities I truly enjoy. That’s why, this spring, I’m going to have to make the most of the few times I get out to chase turkeys. More importantly I am learning to cherish the memories I’ve already made – just not while I’m driving to school!
Martin Chown – YCC member, Traverse City