When the Sun Shines on the Field

Yesterday was the first real gorgeous day of 2015. Temperatures in the 70s and bright sun, sky a wide and clear canvas of clear blue.

I arrived to my son’s school in the heart of Detroit’s Indian Village, and all around me I heard excited squeals of children running, playing, skipping, basking in spring sunshine.

Across the street, on the wide open field, my son and his third-grade class played kickball. It was gym, the last class on a Friday afternoon and so it was perfect and wonderful that Mr. Honey took them outside to the fresh air and possibility of an expansive landscape of green to kick the ball and throw it and round the bases.

On second base, a little girl dressed in pink, her hair in pigtails, squatted, drawing with a stick in the dirt. No matter that the ball sailed right past her; no matter that a classmate rounded the base and passed her. She was mesmerized by fascination at the freedom of constructing messages in the dirt.

And no one reprimanded her for it.

That’s what children do: they explore, they discover the world, they get distracted and it’s ok because when they’re distracted, they come up with the most brilliant things.

A sense of self.

Wonder and amazement at the beauty of this incredible planet.

Peace and self-satisfaction on a clear, bright day.

The confidence to move forward with their opinions and desires, to speak their voice into the open air and know it will be cherished upon receipt.

I stood at the edge of the field, watching the confluence of events: my son kicking the ball, running to first. Two boys both going for the ball simultaneously, colliding, one tumbling head over heels and bouncing right up again, no tears, as if he were the ball himself, and the teacher, sitting on an upended log behind home base, watching it all.

It was one of the best moments of my week.

This morning, the same son woke early almost in tears because he thought I’d gone to the farmers market without him.

No, no, no, I reassured him on the family room couch. It was 7 a.m., and I explained that the farmers market had just opened for the day. My plan was to wake him by 7:30.

He nestled in under my right arm and we sat very close on the quiet couch, watching some random show on TV. The focus was on this warm loving being, my DNA coursing through his veins, pressed up against my side, and I to him.

Later, we did go to the farmers market, he with one bag, me with another, plucking ideas and items for our week of family meals. “Of course I want a cabbage,” he exclaimed, and then we chose a savoy because he’d never tried that kind before. (Always the purple ones.)

Farm eggs and fresh basil, chicken and farm-raised meat and colored carrots, broccoli crowns and cucumbers and one head of garlic.

Our bags full, we meandered across the street to the fish market, and he asked eagerly for the blue crab, only to learn that it’s too delicate to ship all the way to Michigan. “Oh well,” we agreed, “we’ll just have to wait for the Delaware beach trip.”

It’s moments like these that make a life. Simple, non-eventful, peaceful moments full of beauty and love because we are together.

Questions melt away and problems cease. We are here, in the now, loving every scent before us, pressing ever closer.

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