February 28, 2006

Just Jump

We've still got those snazzy boxes of pet ashes hanging out in our living room. Cosine and Detail are on the fireplace mantel, topped by this really cool prayer wheel my sister gave us. Figero is resting in my grandmother's secretary on a shelf behind the glass doors.

Eventually we'll release them. Those ashes. Back into the world. Did I ever share our plan for that? It's simple enough. We're gonna spread them in a park near where we used to live. The Boy and I used to take the dogs hiking and swimming there.

As a matter of fact, I used take The Boy there hiking before we even got those dogs. Eh, I'm not sure it's accurate to call what we did "hiking." Do toddlers hike? I'd say it was more like rambling, but nevertheless a great way to spend time. Fresh air. Nature. Exercise. Exploration.

Oh yeah. Exploration. One day he and I energetically set off together down a previously unexplored path through the woods. It had trailmarkers, but the markers on that particular path peetered out. But the path kept going so we did too. Then the path itself peetered out. Completely. To the point where I couldn't even simply turn us around to retrace our steps. I couldn't tell from whence we came.

Interesting sensation, that. Finding oneself lost in the woods with a four year old. How the hell did I let that happen? But hey, it was the suburbs. Sort of. I figured if we just kept walking, eventually we'd find civilization. Eventually.

Ah yes, me in my natural element: Suzanne, Suburban Woodswoman. I rallied to the occasion and employed the skills honed during my years as a Girl Scout to lead us authoritatively toward civilization. Oh sure. Truth is, we got really lucky and stumbled across a road. I vaguely recognized it as the one leading to the park entrance. I looked left. I looked right. I wondered which way we should go.

At that point we'd been hiking for about three hours. The Boy was tired. I was tired. The road, while paved, was narrow and winding with sloped shoulders and ditches, no sidewalks. Not a road I'd choose to walk on even if I didn't have a young child with me.

Alrighty then. I hoisted The Boy piggy-back style and set out to the left. He chatted observationally in my ear as I plodded. The sun shone, the breeze blew, I perspired. We stopped to rest briefly on a grassy expanse. One car passed us going the opposite direction. I still wasn't sure we were going the right way.

Then boom! A sign from above! Actually it wasn't from above at all. It was on the side of the road and indicated the entrance to the park was only a mile up the road. Miraculously I had chosen the right direction the first time! I was momentarily thrilled until I remembered I'd be walking that mile with a child on my back.

The concept of perseverance has been ruminating loudly through my head these days. Life tosses curves and leaves it to us to decide how to proceed. To dance. To flee. To stroll. To leap. To crawl when necessary.

One thing is certain: whatever a moment holds, good or bad, it, too, shall pass. It's good to absorb the view along the way.

.

6 comments:

Geeky Dragon Girl said...

Not to mention that absorbing the view along the way will help you find your way back. Hee. ;)

Deborah said...

Reminds me of the time I took my two, then 7 and 5, on a bike ride through the nearby forest preserve. I persisted in calling it an adventure when I got us lost and had to carry them (one at a time) and their bikes across railroad tracks and a small pond to return to civilization. They tease me to this very day and wouldn't go on a bike ride with me for a very l o n g time afterwards.

Kiker said...

Beautiful piece of writing, Suzanne. :)

WordsRock said...

gdg, yes. I pay more attention these days. Sometimes. heh.

LOL deborah! The Boy has never mentioned this particular adventure. I should ask if he even recalls it. But your girls must remember that bike ride fondly if they still tease you. Memories are what we make of them. :)

kiker--thanks!

Suzanne

SassyFemme said...

Your plans for the pets is really very nice.

Mel said...

The writing was terrific and I know that feeling of carrying an increasingly heavy burden. Lessons are everywhere, aren't there?