Thursday, May 24, 2012
Bigger Picture Moments: Wandering
We wander my parents' yard, finding patches of shade, then sun, the better to squeeze drops of perfection from our afternoon. I lose sight of the girls several times, but it's expected. The yard is full of perfect hiding places and shadowed clusters. There are landscaped sections, yes, but most of it is lush grass with teenaged trees. At least, that's the distinction awarded them by my girls. They're not new babies, tiny and frail; they're not tall sentinels, old and thick: they're teenage trees. Medium trees. Perfect trees.
I mosey with my dad, talking -- listening to him talk -- about how the yard used to be, when they first bought this house.
"The weeds must have been over my shoulders. It was just a field of brush, really, so I knocked it all down and had a huge burn pile. There was poison ivy and poison oak stuck to the house -- crawling up under the roof, even -- so I ripped it all down and threw it into the pile. Back then, I didn't know you weren't supposed to burn that stuff. It gets into the air, into your lungs. Anyway, I just ripped it out with my bare hands, threw it on the burn pile, and cleared the place out. That was...what...thirty years ago? Thirty years ago... "
I make my hand a hood over my brow, and stare across the rolling expanse. My dad's yard is one of my most favorite places to be. Bordered by a thin creek and a low hill, it's laid out beautifully. My parents have planted gorgeous, towering trees and broad shrubs and hillsides full of rock-strewn, flowering bulbs.
If I were a bird, I think, I would live in this yard.
We make our way to the creek, stopping along the way for dad to rake up patches of embattled weeds. He tells stories. I smile. I wonder where the kids are, but I know they're completely safe in this yard. It held me when I was a little girl; it will hold them.
Later, when I break away from my reverie, I turn towards the porch.
I find that the yard has, indeed, held the girls.
Brown dust covers their arms and legs, and their tiny feet are dug into mom's freshly tilled garden. Dirt flies as they scoop and pile, covering their feet under the earth.
Lauren looks up at me and smiles, proud.
"We're planting FEET, mama!" she yells.
Well. I can't find fault with their endeavor. If I could, I would plant little girls enough to cover the whole yard.
Dusty, dirty little girls, precious and held. And in thirty years, when they've matured and grown into something lovely and sprawling and soft, I'll wander over grasses and under trees, remembering what came first.
We're seeing the Bigger Picture through simple moments -- moments that force us to stop and take notice of the ways our worlds are important, meaningful, and beautiful. Please join us at Hyacynth's place today! Grab the button, link up, and read a few others to encourage them as they find the fullness in the simple