a couple fridays ago, my kiddos and i got a day to just rest. we were home together, we took the morning oh-so-slow. then we headed out into the sunshine. the air was warm and buzzing with bugs and alive with the songs of meadowlarks and robins and the tapping of a woodpecker (maybe a flicker). we wandered through a tiny portion of the long pines, and lighted upon pasque flowers and sweet peas and another tiny white flower all in bloom. we breathed deeply and noticed. we closed our eyes and turned our faces toward the sun. isaac threw rocks far out into a coulee. maddie carried an interesting bone and called to chaco over and over again. we found tracks and droppings, bones and fur, feathers and nests, hollowed out beds and burrows.
after a long wander, we decided to drive a ways farther up the mountain, into the wild blue. windows down, air moving over us, ears filled with all the sounds, we drove oh, seven miles or so, until we found a dune of smooth, white sand. "i want to touch it," maddie told me, so i stopped and she hopped out.
she put her hand on the side of the dune, and rivulets of sand started to run, cascading down the dune. isaac wanted to try it, too. so i parked the car, right in the middle of the road, and isaac joined maddie. i found a sunny rock to sit on, and chaco set off sniffing out all the stories that only a dog can smell.
we just stayed up there, out in the sunshine and the breeze, in the air that smelled of dry sand and wet sand and grass and pine trees. the kids played and played in the sand, chaco ran here and there and over this rise and around that one, and i sat, and i stacked rocks, and i followed chaco up the road, and i ran, and i watched the kids, and i laughed, and i thought about how maddie and isaac have loved to play, just like this, since they were so very little.
how i have loved those times when i can say yes to staying, yes to getting dirty, yes to playing longer. and how wonderful it is, how very lucky i am to have two kids, 11 and almost 13, who still want to stay and play. who laugh and run a dig and smile. who like each other. who are wonderful and beautiful and kind and funny.
sitting in the sunshine, watching them play reminded me of some of the very best parts of my life. and reminded me to stay. to play. to savor. to breathe. to appreciate. to count gratitudes.
i wish the same for you, my friends. that you find moments to stay and play in.
go gently and be wonderful.