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Carroll County Times
Carroll County Sports

Bird Brown: This time away from our playing fields can be a good thing

Anyone knows me knows how important it is for me to be around people. This quarantine was really starting to get to me.

I’m fortunate in that I have a roof over my head and a loving family with whom I am home bound, but I really miss interacting with my students on a daily basis.

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I miss standing in the hallways between classes and watching students hustling to get to their next class. I miss the 20 minutes I had after school working with our girls lacrosse team and getting them ready for the real Coach Brown’s practice. I miss those few moments each day with our peers, signing in each morning, performing our duties before and after school, and the rare occasion when we can grab a bite to eat together during our short break.

But this time has also given me the opportunity to slow down a little bit, reflect on the things that are important to me and the reorganize my life a bit to focus on those things.

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We’ve tackled some outdoor projects, removed overgrown bushes, replanted grass, and spread dozens of bags of mulch. Indoors, we’re painting, cleaning out clutter, and even a renovation project of one of our bathrooms.

This, all around managing the new reality that is our distance learning process, posting new assignments, grading those when they get turned back in, and communicating with students through google classrooms.

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I’m not used to this kind of rest. But it’s not all bad.

I’ve been able to take some walks in the evening with my son and my dogs and share some life stories and life goals. During one of our walks, we walked by a town field where my son practiced both soccer and rugby in his youth, and it inspired him to dust off the cleats and take a few rugby penalty kicks a few days later. As he was shaking off the rust and rediscovering his stroke, shagging balls and running sprints, I was caught by how nice the field looked.

The city must have recently mowed the grass to make it look freshly cut, but what caught my attention was how green everything looked and how few grass-less patches I could find all around the field. I drove to more local fields and what I saw was much the same.

Then it hit me. While we’re all hunkered down at home, not making it to our lacrosse practices and games, not taking batting, outfield, or infield practice, not squeezing in spring soccer practices and games around spring sports, the fields themselves are taking a much-needed break.

If we can’t afford turf fields in our county — and after this economic spanking it may be a long time before we can — we can at least feel good that those fields across the county that we overuse on a regular basis are getting an opportunity to heal and strengthen their roots.

Roman poet Ovid once wrote, “Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.” When we get back on the fields again — and we will get back on those fields again — it will be a beautiful thing to see.

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Stay safe.


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