A circle of trees estimated to be 400 years old, growing from a shared original base close to the ground: a fairy ring that the little ones squeezed into and climbed around and through in wonder. Redwoods close behind, a trampoline hanging by chains from far, far overhead in the bay laurel (here’s a picture of one), made into a swing in the shade big enough to lie down on and look up at the branches.
Flowers for butterflies. Monarchs in summer. A little wooden bridge over a now-dry creekbed.
A friend our parents’ age was widowed not long ago and, knowing that we too are from the East Coast, invited us over tonight to see her southern dogwood tree while it is in full bloom. I wish I had thought to take its picture. I did take hers but sent it only to her.
We had dogwoods growing wild in the yard where I grew up, small slow-growing shade-loving trees under taller canopies, and I miss them. There are vanishingly few of them to be found here.
Her tree was the most magnificent specimen I think I’ve ever seen. It has grown in her yard a long time.
She planted it.
She is a weaver.
A young family had been invited too, a chance for her to get to know some new people, and their little children loved exploring her woodsy back yard with her as their guide.
When the three year old got too close to the rails on that little bridge I put my cane out straight to hem him in a bit, and his four year old brother just in front of him grabbed it gladly as his guide forward and for steadying comfort in the deepening dusk. Sticks and little boys just naturally go together anyway. I walked very carefully to make sure it didn’t fail them in any way.
It was the family I’d brought the blueberry cake to and the baby, having figured out I was okay, played peekaboo with me with great glee.
She shared cookies and lemonade with those blossoms just outside the window as the sun called it a day. When the little ones finished theirs, she showed them the path around the kitchen, the living room, and back again to the dining room so that they could run in giggling circles as we talked. We picked up the baby a few times when his feet didn’t quite go as fast as his eyes did while trying to keep up; he stayed happy. He has just started to babble. We were charmed. We had such a lovely, lovely evening of it.
Sometimes all we need to do is simply get together.
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