I planted the last of my perennials today. Fall planting is not as exciting as spring planting, but I anticipate beauty will surprise me in the months following snow. After the plants were watered, I sat to rest on the swing in the front yard.
I recalled us playing badminton without a net and the accomplishment of them learning to keep the birdie in the air. My mind could see our son and daughter-in-love holding onto and running beside the two-wheeled bikes as the children tried to balance for the first time. I saw picnics on blankets under the trees, kids swinging on ropes attached to limbs and climbing higher than I thought was safe.
There sat the old wagon that once belonged to our son and had pulled the next generation. And the pole house in the back yard that still leans. Each year we wondered if this is the season that house falls to the ground.
I remember when we squeezed onto the swing to rest or to talk, looking up at the feathery leaves above our heads. And there was that one autumn, a Sunday afternoon and all three grands with us, when we heard the faint sound of cranes. We searched the sky, scanning the horizons until we finally saw flocks of birds flying so high they looked tiny. The thread of birds up above seemed to go forever. It was that once in a life time experience that we got to share.
Again we sat on the swing together while parents took the family’s beloved dog, Blessing, to the vet for the final good-bye. We waited until it was time to go to the grave site where our sorrow mingled.
I resisted tears as I sat on the swing this afternoon. Instead I chose to rejoice in those years when our activties were interwoven regularly. I said it out loud, “They were good years.” It’s true that I don’t get to see my grandchildren as often as I would like anymore. The road is long between us now. There’s that longing for their physical presence, something texts, phone calls, and even skype cannot satisfy.
I could let myself be sad, feel deprived. But today, I simply remembered the good years and was thankful for them.