TREENA MIELKE – On The Other Side
Spring is just a few tightly furled buds away from bursting into a glorious, abstract potpourri of color.
I am grateful that Mother Nature doesn’t stay in the lines when she colors, but instead seems to be a bit mischievous and goes about dumping pots of color everywhere.
As well as being one of Mother Nature’s most vivid coloring book pages, spring also marks the starting line for firsts.
First ice cream from the ice cream place that has been boarded shut all winter.
First icy dip in the frigid waters of Sylvan Lake. First picnic on the beach.
First long weekend where it rains, rains, rains and everyone sits around a dismal, soggy fire, kept alive only because even soggy newspapers seem to burn eventually.
First water-ski. First golf game. First mowing of the lawn. First planting of flowers.
Luckily, there is no age limit to at least some of these firsts. I’m sure the taste of ice cream melting on your tongue is just as delicious when you are 60 as when you are six.
Perhaps, even more so.
I can, on my lists of firsts, check off the first dip of the season already.
As with most spontaneous firsts, the event turned an ordinary day into an extraordinary adventure.
The adventure was seeded in my brain because a benevolent sun seemed to suggest a stroll along the beach would be in order. And, so it came to be. Here I was indulging in this most pleasurable activity with my nine-year-old granddaughter skipping along beside me.
We meandered along like the two very grown up ladies we are, chatting about books and movies and other cultural stuff. As we strolled along, we sent, from behind the dark, protective glare of our sunglasses, somewhat disdainful glances at the immature people laughing and splashing each other in the lake.
Really. These people had no regard for culture, but only wanted to act in a highly immature way. Laughing and splashing each other like it was summer already.
The water must be freezing.
We walked along some more until I, drawn by some kind of invisible magnet, walked to the water’s edge and gingerly put my toes in. I withdrew them quickly.
The child, taking the cue from her grandma, also delicately put her toes in to test the water, withdrawing them quickly as well.
“Brrrr,” she said, shivering.
We walked along a little further, fiercely holding tight to our shoes and our dignity.
I’m not sure which we lost first.
One minute we were two grown up ladies out for a stroll, the next minute we were shrieking and laughing and splashing each other and getting totally soaked.
It started out we were up to our ankles, then our knees, then our waists, and then ….it happened. I must admit. It was me. I splashed her. After all, who would she tell? I’m the big person here. I’m the grandma.
And so it came to be that I experienced, once again, one of the perennial firsts that makes the season of spring worth writing about.
And, in so doing, I would hope I introduced my granddaughter to the absolute delight of being a little silly, a little crazy and a whole lot wet.
Next, I think I’ll teach her how much fun it is to mow the grass.