playground on the beach
waves crash, wind moves through the trees
happy children laugh
~ Aisling, July 30, 2008
Our town is having their annual four-day summer festival. A midway has been squeezed into a parking lot near the marina, giving Ferris wheel riders a glimpse of sailboats and sparkling water. Events, from concerts to races, contests to full-scale dinners, have been planned to fill the days with idyllic summer fun.
Yesterday, my boys took a couple of rides at the midway and then, reluctantly, set the rest of their tickets aside for another day. We walked down to the playground on the beach. I sat on a bench and watched as they ran from one play structure to another. Other children were playing there too. A little girl with white-blond hair skipped proudly in a white gauze skirt. One torn flounce fluttered behind her in the breeze, like the most elegant train. Before we headed back to the heart of town, where a band was playing in the street, the boys wanted to dip their toes in the lake. The sheltered harbor on one of the Great Lakes had faded from aquamarine to pale bluish gray in the time we were there. The sun was setting behind a bank of white clouds with sun beams streaming down in the way that always makes me think of angels descending. Even my nine year old son appreciated the beauty of that sky. "I wish I had a camera!" he exclaimed, "That looks really cool!"
After "just one more time down the slide, Mom," we walked barefoot along the sand and up the blacktop trail to the edge of the park, where we sat down in the grass to put on our sandals. We had started back to town when suddenly my five year old shouted, "I forgot my kiwi!" I was confused, until he ran back to the grassy spot where we put our shoes on and grabbed a wispy bit of "seaweed" he had been carrying around.
While I sat, listening to my sons and the other children laugh and call to one another in bright loud voices that harmonized like music with the sounds of wind and water, I composed the little haiku that began this post. It will have to serve as my "photograph" of the moment, my memory keeper, for I didn't have a camera on hand. I don't always capture such moments in haiku, but I do try to hold them in memory. I used to tell my daughters, when a camera was needed but not available, "I guess I'll have to take a picture with my heart." With four children, growing so fast and so beautifully, my memory is overflowing with heart-pictures.
The photo above is from my garden, where the crib my children once slept in has been re-purposed as a trellis. It wasn't in good enough shape to save for other generations. This is liatris, Kobold blue, taken July 27, 2008 by Aisling