May 11th, 2009



Despite the ups and downs of sorrow the sun keeps on shining and I muddle along. I dragged Martin up off the sofa and made him go for a walk with me after dinner this evening. The sun was lowering, but still high in the sky; it hasn't reached its zenith yet...we're still enjoying the lengthening days.

It's cool in the evening air, there's an autumn-y nip in the spring sunlight which is rather refreshing. I much prefer a cool, sunny spring to a direct dive into humidity and heat, so no complaints here. We pulled on fleeces and started out. Martin often requests a treasure hunt list to take along but I was feeling fresh out of ideas so I told him he'd have a different kind of hunt this time: he had to make his own list...of sorts. I jotted down a quick column: "dogs, cats, frogs, birds, butterflies, bees, others" and told him this time he had to count all the ones he found.

His enthusiasm for games is infectious: we both found ourselves stepping out with zeal and a bright glint in our eyes. I think you notice so much more of your surroundings when you deliberately set yourself a task like this. I hadn't said that the animals on the list had to be real, and Martin quickly bagged 2 dog pictures on the dog-doo collection can at the head of the walking path. As we rounded the swampy spot behind the school, the air was full of tiny bits of flying fluff: dandelion wishes floating free. I made wishes on all of them: health for my suffering friends. O! The very air is full of wishes!

The pussywillows have all exploded alongside the dandelions and the path further on was lined with white fluff. Rooks and ravens marched about the meadow, heads bent to their evening meal hunt. Across the sunny pastures, a group of animals grazed: how had I forgotten to write HORSES on the list when we live in the horse capitol of Sweden?? Martin ratcheted up a full set of marks under "others"—4 horses and a cow, 3 hares frolicking in a far-off field, a polar bear design on a camper. We met walking dogs along the way, made kissy-noises at basking cats, found FIVE frog figurines in various gardens. 2 fat and furry bumblebees buzzed down low in the front yard as we headed back toward home but the only butterfly in sight was a plastic reflector on a stick in front of a neighbor's house.

Then we came into the backyard and sat on the trampoline for awhile, just my kid and me. We talked about everything and nothing and I tickled him and he zapped me with static electricity and we discussed the pros and cons of putting the pool up this year and whether anyone would notice if we stole appropriated and relocated the lilac bushes from across the ditch and whether the kohlrabi and artichokes will ever sprout and how many marks he could have made under dogs and birds and others (horses) if the lady in the farmhouse behind us hadn't recently moved away.