The cold afternoons and evenings when we huddled around the television to watch college basketball games are over. The last games have been played, and the champions all have been declared. The buzzer has sounded and the red lights behind the backboard have flashed off this season.
The weekend's coverage of the Masters golf tournament has declared basketball season officially over. The blue skies, green grass and red and white azalea blooms announce the end of winter, the end of shivering, the end of indoor sports. It's time to be outside. It's time to celebrate the spring and the colors of nature.
Next month will mark 40 years since I last played a round of golf, and I would be hard-pressed to name half of the top-10 golfers on the tour, but I turn on the Masters each year to see the pines and the azaleas bordered by perfectly groomed grass that out-shines emeralds. You don't have to be a golfer to love the views from Augusta National, just as you can enjoy the acrobatics of basketball star even if you can barely touch the bottom of the net or dribble two steps.
So many markers record the seasons' changes. The sun rises earlier or later, the temperatures rise or fall, tree leaves sprout or wither, sports seasons begin or end. All tell us that time has moved on, and we must move with it.
Do not lament the seasons past, the disappointments of too-high expectations or the thrill of unanticipated success gone by. Welcome the new season, the new hope of future promise.