(Here's one of the places where I paused in the shade on the way back to the car ... decided I might as well record this one for posterity)
Friday was such a beautiful day where I was ... and, I hope, where you were, too.
But, as I was about to say, it was such a beautiful day that I decided to give myself a day off. No more of endless hours at the keyboard (too much of a reminder of another life I led way back there in ancient times). No more chores. No more anything except leisure activity.
Well, now, that can turn out to be work, too, but we struggled on.
Phyllis (the navigator) and I (the perpetrator) got a reasonably early start ... hopped into the Little Red Car (our favorite conveyance for many, many years) ... and headed off into the sunrise.
Though we were a little late for the actual sunrise, we did get an early start. The dew was still on the grass and the butterflies were just starting to yawn and stretch and flutter about when we arrived at the park.
Aha! The park! And what was going on there?
A group of plein air painters was gathering to record, each in his or her own way, surroundings which caught their eye.
I remembered a pond that I had liked in this particular park, so Phyllis and I headed for that.
It seemed much farther from the parking lot than I remembered ... I commented that they must’ve moved it farther back from the road ... but Phyllis (the navigator, remember?) assured me that it was likely something else which made it seem so distant.
Could it be that I have grown older in all those years since my last visit?
Don’t answer that.
We finally arrived, set up our folding stools, and I began painting while Phyllis interrupted her reading occasionally to take a look at what I was working on.
A couple of watercolors later, it was time to head back.
I suggested that Phyllis bring the car around so I wouldn’t have all that long walk back. I was kidding, of course, but I still earned one of those looks ... you probably know the kind.
We headed back together ... hardly got lost at all ... didn’t see any bears ... did see a couple of rabbits (shy rascals) ... some beautiful flowers (nothing shy about them) ... and, in the distance, trees offering shade ... wonderful, life-saving shade.
We must’ve made it all the way back, for here I am, late Friday, watching the clock and pounding the keyboard like mad in order to beat the deadline for “Squiggles.”
All of which brings us to:
TODAY’S POEM - Which came to mind as we were trudging through the woods ... and which owes much to the memories associated with a day trip taken several years ago with a group of "senior citizens."
Phyllis and I had sort of wandered off from the group ... intentionally, mind you ... I like to do that sometimes ... simply to enjoy a bit of quiet, to stretch my legs, to view the scene from a different angle.
But let's let the poem tell the story:
ALL THOSE TREES
We'd grown tired of winding
along with the other tourists
through the aromatic rows
upon rows of captive plants,
felt our own tendrils tugging
gently toward a nearby hill.
We had paused half-way up
when there was a sudden
flutter of excited footsteps,
the clatter of young laughter,
and we were swiftly engulfed
by a surging flood of children
racing tree-to-tree, so intent
on their game they didn't see
us standing there, recalling
a game we had played so like
theirs, savoring the memories,
and now, loving all those trees.
(originally published in St. Anthony Messenger)
That’s right, “loving all those trees” ... and I’ve loved a lot of them in my time ... the box elder which I climbed at an early age, and many times after ... the tree where Grandpa put up a swing for me ... the plum trees we had ... the peach tree (we had a small place) ... and then there were the hickories ... the walnuts ... oaks and maples on up the hill from our place.
I don’t recall ever actually hugging any of them, but I loved ‘em all, still do.
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UNTIL NEXT TIME ... take care ... see ya!