If it’s not the blues, it’s the reds, right?

It is absolutely gorgeous today. It’s the kind of day that would make even the least imaginative person want to escape to the park to lie beneath a big, leafy tree and stare up at the blue sky, calling out with delight the different shapes made by the wispy clouds floating by. Walking down the street you have the same bounce in your step as when you find a dollar bill on the ground, or when you have a fun something or other to look forward to. You just believe goodness exists when it’s this beautiful out.

When I lived in Eugene I would walk to Amazon Park, which was about a mile from my house on Onyx Street. Amazon had a playground with a red fire truck for kids to clamber into and pretend to drive, a massive cement dinosaur that was awesome for climbing, a swimming facility with two high dives, and acre upon acre of fields of lush, green grass. Throughout the park there were magnificent weeping willows with limbs that hung so low they created little rooms. I was so enamored by the trees I used to say to my Grandma Joy that I wanted a weeping willow tree for my birthday.

Grandma Joy was the person who taught me to look at the sky. She said there are two types of people: those who see they sky and those who don’t. She made me promise that I would always remember to look up at the sky and really see it. She would sit with me, one leg straight in front of her, the other up by her chest with her arm wrapped around it. She’d point out the different shapes that she saw in the clouds, calling them by both their English names and their Spanish names. She’d ask me what I saw, then look for herself and then her face would light up as she told me that she saw it too. These are the kinds of things I am looking forward to passing on to Briar.

I want Briar to have the companionship of a fearless imagination. I want her to be able to make the most of a rainy day or a cancelled play date. A bandana, a milk crate and a couple of old coffee mugs can turn into an amazing adventure if she doesn’t feel limited by the need to play by the rules of reality or depend on the ‘fun’ of a thing. I want her to know that she can build forts and create roles to play and scenarios to act out. I want to go to the backyard and be able to hear her explaining to the dogs the game they are going to play, or why it is important for Ella to wear the strand of braided daisies around her neck and for Dean to let her tie the flowy scarf on his tail.

Today is the kind of day that makes me want to be able to take Briar for a walk to the park to show her the twinkling fairy blankets in the plants along the water, or point out the path that a hobbit might take to get from the park to his home. I want to create little stories about the flight of one of those little helicopter doodahs that falls spinning from the trees. I’d love to sit on the ground with her and play with blades of grass, trace the lines of her face with a dandelion stem, tickle her ears with a wild flower. This is a day for butterfly kisses.

Maybe I’ll take her outside at lunch and we can enjoy a taste of what we’d do if we had the whole day. Tonight we can sit on the porch or take a walk. I need to remember these feelings and have the adult imagination to do these kinds of things in the little windows of time that life allows. I didn’t realize how fast time would go.

Just as I was starting to feel a little overwhelmed by the reality of time a quirky parade of a turtle, a poodle and a long tailed flying dragon floated past my window.

Thank you Grandma Joy for helping me to remember to look at the sky. I love you.