The Meandering Walk
Yesterday, we walked our neighborhood, a loop that the girls and I have done a hundred times before. If you live on my block, hearing my girls chirping voices cascade down from the street to your living room is more reliable than the post man. It’s a daily activity.
The chilly weather and light rain was calling out to my inner crab like self to crawl inside my shell and remain indoors. However, my girls were at each other with the punching and screaming; the pushing and taunting; the pleading and whining. Enough was enough. Nothing could solve this problem but nature itself.
Josie gave it her very best to not leave the house. I wrestled the flailing legs and flipping feet until little Miss was donning a pair of sparkly turquoise tennis shoes. I coaxed an extra layer onto both the protesting girls for warmth. And finally, exasperated, I reached for a two simple brown paper lunch bags as an idea switched on in my head.
Groaning out the door, the girls reluctantly marched.
I handed Josie a brown paper bag and said “this is all yours”. Then I handed another one to Gracie. “We are going on a leaf hunt.”
The tears and whines abruptly switched to the sound of silence. A silence brought on solely by the strongest of curiosity that could reboot such foul moods. As I explained the activity, their eyes opened as wide as a full harvest moon. “A leaf hunt?” “Yes, Josie. You can look around the streets and find any interesting leaves or acorns or sticks and put them in your special bag”
Within moments there was a spring in her step. What big sis does, 9 times out of 10, Gracie will follow. They were inspecting crimson crackled leaves; they were rubbing smooth chestnut acorns; they were peering at small darkened puddles. Our suburbia neighborhood in the heart of fast paced silicon valley had transformed to an idyllic, unhurried, country walk.
Without realizing it, I got caught up in the experiential spirit as well. I watched a leaf slowly fall from a tree and I actually meant it when I said, “wow, girls, this is beautiful” And yet, we weren’t deep in the woods; or lakeside; or on a mountains ridge line. We were at my neighbors driveway, next to a truck delivering a port-o-potty to a construction site.
Funny how the simplicity of a brown paper bag can change one’s perspective. I’m thankful for that moment living life through the magic of my children’s eyes. May it continue.
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