A Fine Spring Evening
Aug 31, 1998
Even though it was late March, it felt like a summer day. The sky was blue, the sun was hot and the grass was green. Peter was out of town at a conference, so it was just me and the kids. It was a grass cutting kind of day, so Gracie and Ranin and I cut the grass and raked and tried to make our scruffy yard look beautiful.
After yard work, I piled the gang in the van, and we drove to our favorite beach on the Chesapeake Bay. The tide was out, and the sand was glistening for hundreds of feet. The kids dragged their boogie boards across the wide tidal pool and threw themselves into the bay. The water was still rather cold and they squealed in agony and jumped out.
The tide pool was a treasure though. We walked along and saw the flimsy, iridescent bodies of jelly fish lolling in the shallows. Tymon dug into the sand and found a knobby thing with a floppy thing on it and shrank back thinking it was a jelly fish. More probing found it to be a tennis-ball- sized seashell, with a saucer-sized foot extending around it. A passerby said, "Oh, that's a moon snail." More digging brought up razor clams looking like tortoise shell barber razors. Their white bodies extended and retracted from one end, looking like green onions with the roots attached. More walking and digging found horseshoe crab shells and the odd shiny rock. After a while we dragged all of our paraphernalia back to the van when I discovered that I didn't have the car keys anymore. We piled everything on the ground and walked back to our spot on the sand.
For some reason, Murphy's Law was bothering somebody else. My keys were happily sitting in the sun, smiling up at me, right where I left them. I proclaimed loudly to all those nearby, "There IS A GOD!!!", pocketed the keys, and scurried back with my chickens to our pile of stuff that no-one had stolen. Thank you, again!
As we dragged all of our sand-covered towels and shoes into the kitchen when we arrived at home, I hugged my children one by one, burying my nose in their hair. I love the smell of children who have been outside playing. Their noses and necks were sunburned, their hair was hot and smelled of sand and wind. They each had a sprinkling of new freckles on their cheeks. They looked exuberant and exhausted from their hours of play.
They took their baths and got ready for bed. Tadin, age 4 came hopping out of the bathroom with his undies and pants around his ankles after using the potty. "What is this, kangaroo flashing?" I asked him. He has a need to hop around the house with his pants down after using the bathroom. But I know that this too, will pass.
The evening brought a certain peace. As I sat on the front step, sipping lemonade, the scent in the air made me realize anew that our next door neighbors have a dozen dogs and cats in their backyard. P.U. Even though being outside had a down side (make that a downwind side), I was grateful that spring was upon us and we could enjoy the blessings of being outdoors until winter returns. It was warm enough now for the neighborhood bullies to ride by on their bikes, and shout insults at my children. I took offense. It just so happens, I haven't worn army boots since high school.
I felt like Auntie Em in the scene from "The Wizard of Oz", when she said, "Myra Gulch, for 25 years I've wanted to tell you what I think of you, but now, being a Christian woman, I can't!" I longed to throw a rake into the spokes of their tires, and watch them do an Olympic twirl in the air, but I prayed and asked God to help me remember why revenge is wrong.
Besides this little dip in the mood of the day, all was well. The sun was sinking in the west, the wind was caressing my cheek -- it was finally spring.
As Carly Simon so aptly put it, "These are the good old days."
Kimmy Sophia Brown has loved humor and music and freedom for as long as she can remember.She is especially passionate about the environment and caring for animals.
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