Barefoot, or ruining little pairs of formerly white socks, my sons are drawn to the trail in the butterfly garden. In their imaginations, the trail has been the scene of many things, from prehistoric exploration to intergalactic battles. They run around and around the slate pavers until something interesting arrests their boyish inertia. I see them from the kitchen window, stooping together, looking down... still for just a little while. Are they looking at a tiny red spider mite scurrying for cover under a fresh young violet leaf? Or have they found a menacing black spider, a monster in miniature? For a while, they climb the tree, then spin in the grass brandishing sticks, and then they are back on the trail.
Together, these two rough-and-tumble boys, with dirt under their fingernails and grime on their sweet little faces, exclaim over the opening of a delicate and ephemeral blossom. They run to the house to tell me, "One bloomed!" and then they are out the door again, racing back to the trail that weaves through the early spring garden. Most of the plants in the garden are waiting for warmer days to show their colors, but my sons show me their brilliant, energetic, kaleidoscopic colors every day of the year.
photo by Aisling 1) The garden trail last year, on 4/21/07 Note: My photos from the kitchen window of the boys playing on the trail were zoomed in from quite a distance and were too blurry to use here. I'll try again soon!