Crumbs From the Corner: Adventures in Woolgathering

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Big Sky At Night: Child's Delight

What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset...

Our friends have a small son and they live on twenty rented acres of lush land in Northern Maine. The little one has an enormous back garden to run around in and he does so with a zest that overwhelms us adults.
When last we visited it was Summertime and he, then a year and a half old, was clamouring every moment to be outdoors. When evening came he was hurrying to be outside with his mama so that they could water the flowers together.
The most astounding thing, however, is what he did when he got the opportunity to gambol and caper on the pasture. He would race like a wild thing, and then stop and stand perfectly still.
There was a special flat stone in the field that he always did his particular thinking on.
One evening as dusk was approaching we watched the child on his stone and it seemed as though he were listening to something beyond us. Then- Spouse and I witnessed it ourselves- he stretched his tiny little hands up to the clouds, took a momentous, deep breath, and cried,
"ahhhhh. Sky. BIG."
Yes, it is vast. We had almost quite forgotten.

My cousin- he of the wisdom beyond his years and of the docile temper in the face of wrongly-cooked eggs- once took a trip to Spain with his family. He may have been four or five; in any case he was awfully little and it was his first holiday.
The weather was constantly hot and he, being a boy born and bred on the wild Atlantic coast was not at all used to the sunshine and certainly not at such degrees as he experienced.
When they returned home, his mother tells that the child stepped off the plane and into the cloudy downpour.
Smiling, he turned to his mother: "I missed the rain."

Goodness, they do make one feel small and humble at times.

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