Creek crossings and slippery slopes
There’s something to be said for dirt and mud and water … and it’s this: alone or in combination, those three ingredients make for very happy children.
Throw in crawfish and salamanders; a couple of buckets; cousins; friends; and heat and humidity and you have a recipe for a truly fantastic afternoon. And that applies to the kids in the thick of it and the adults who watched them go.
Secretly, the adults were wishing they could join in. And why not? What is it about age and intellect that prevents us from savoring the bright and shiny moments that speak of childhood and drip with pure, unadulterated enjoyment?
Is it fear? Because I’ll be honest …
I was afraid to watch youngsters battle life and limb to conquer the hillside. I had to stuff motherly instinct down deep and stand on it in order to keep my tongue from demanding, “Stop! Don’t do it. You’ll fall and break your neck.”
Nobody fell. Nobody got hurt. And everybody who battled the bulging landscape felt strong and capable and as though they’d conquered something substantial. You could see the pride in their eyes when they reached the top.
The older kids climbed high and then abandoned the cause for water play or other achievements — but not the little boys. They scaled the mountain and then showed it who’s boss … over and over again.
“All the windows of my heart I open to the day.” ~ John Greenleaf Whittier