Posted by: zhak39 | May 19, 2008

Evening Falls

When we were little sprouts, yard games stretched on until full dark. Tag or hide-and-seek was enhanced by deep shadows and flashlights. We played through the sunset, after the winking of fire flies and in star light. We played as porch lights came on or until the long shadows of our parents were cast through the front door from the center hallway.

It is May and the days that were short as a panted breath just three months ago are now a long satisfied sigh. On Saturday night not long after I ducked onto the sun porch to make a quick call, I heard Helen, Chris and Sam trotting past the holly bush to the backyard. I watched the light fade as a good friend of mine summarized our individual pursuits, of life, of love, of happenstance. It was nearing 9:00 and not quite dark when we bid each other good bye.

I went looking for the kids.

I was youngest, younger then my own children now, when our group began to splinter, to face out toward the world with our backs to one another. The games did not last to my teens, the players had scattered.  A loner or perhaps just alone, I do not remember how adolescents play.  Listening to the kids laughter, I decided to sneak up on them, to spy, to discover what it is that they do.  I walked from shadow to shadow, ducking behind honeysuckle choked forsythia.  Sam lay roman emperor style in the grass.  Helen was asking how to do a cartwheel.  Chris was springing, up on his hands and around.  The boys encouraged Helen to try and she worked on her courage.

“Mom can do a cartwheel,” Helen said.

As a child I often held back and watched the older kids play.  I was the smallest, the slowest.  I could not keep up.  Saturday night I came out from the bush and did cartwheels with Helen.  We played leap frog under the winking moon.  We howled with laughter.

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