All morning the kids had been playing pretty much on their own. I knew that it couldn't last forever, so the first time they came to me to play referee I fed them. The second time I sent them to get warm clothes on and hustled us outside.
I had a mission in mind. Having a mission in mind is a dangerous thing around here. Usually all my well-laid plans are twisted beyond recognition by the ruthless needs of the kids. I find I am better able to roll with the punches if I avoid all but the most amorphous plans. On this particular day, I am working hard to let go of my agenda when all of a sudden the kids begin running up the hill, yelling to me that they want to beat me to the skunk cabbage. I can't believe it! They have co-opted my plan and are running away with it. From that point on I am just along for the ride as they propel us from one spring wonder to the next. We hit all the special places I wanted to go to and it took no cajoling or bribery from me.
Here's a themed sampling of what we saw:
Skunk cabbage on the left
Johnny jump-up on the right
Daffodils at an old house site Crocuses on Japhy's memorial
Forsythia in the garden
I got my dose of golden color today, even without a glimpse of the sun. I was cheered by it and so were the kids. Here they are about halfway through our walk:
What I wasn't able to capture with a camera was just as cheery. Like the the way that Opal and Helen independently decided who got to carry the bouquet of grass that they were picking: They turned to each other with their hand behind their back, counted one-two-three and both brought out scissors. Again, paper this time. Finally, Opal threw paper and Helen scissors. Opal handed Helen the grass and they ran to catch up to Lucie and me.
Or Lucie sticking her head into a tiny culvert because Opal and Helen tell her she can crawl through because she is the littlest.
Or Opal and Helen carefully settling the snail that they unearthed into Opal's grass-lined pocket so that "no bird can see it to eat it". (I doubt the snail was very concerned with the dangers a hypothetical bird may pose as it was tossed about in a five-year-old's pocket.)
I'd like to remember this day.