This morning I brought Rowan to the library, where we returned a few books and checked out several more. We said Hello to the friendly librarians, and Rowan helped me to scan the barcodes at the self-checkout computer. Afterward, we walked next door to the cafe. We brought our drinks (a dark roast coffee for me, and a hot chocolate for himself) and a plate of banana bread out to the patio. From our table, we enjoyed a view of the rose garden and the art museum.
I could feel the atmosphere beginning to change, and see that the sky was darkening. The promise of rain and the jolt of caffeine filled me with excitement. I read his storybooks aloud to him. There were tales of dragons’ eggs and duck eggs, Little Bear staying up all night waiting for his father to return from sea, a boy headed up north in search of a moose, and another about a boy’s first day at preschool. As the sky grew darker still, people began to change seats, seeking shelter beneath the awning and the few tables with umbrellas.
I pondered the chances of rain, and eventually told Rowan that we must pack up and head home before we got caught in wet weather. We gathered our things and headed toward home, but the sight and scent of roses drew me back again. I simply cannot resist sticking my head in a rose garden. There were petals scattered all along the concrete walkway like some grand romantic gesture. We lingered for a moment and turned toward home. I took great inhalations of cool, fresh air. The scent of freshly cut grass surrounded us, and Rowan picked a dandelion that grew along the alleyway. As we rounded a corner, I stopped to show Rowan the ripening mulberries growing on our neighbor’s tree. They varied in color from deep purple to black. Not far away, we listened to the sounds of birds calling us home. We were greeted by the sight of our garden, overflowing with flowers. If you walk closely, you will hear the garden come alive with the sound of honeybees buzzing. You may find a fat lizard or two clinging to the pea tripod that Will built, or see a Gulf fritillary butterfly fly by, looking to lay eggs on the passion flower vine.
We walked inside, and as Rowan settled onto the couch with a show, I came into Will’s music room and threw open the long closed window. I’m here, writing these words, a prayer of thanksgiving for such a beautiful morning shared with my son. For the simple pleasures of a cup of coffee, clean air, freshly laundered clothes to wear, time to slow down and appreciate the beauty and bounty and wonder that surrounds us. For libraries and children’s books and time to read them. For phonecalls from Will, just because, and for Piper, “just the way she is” (said like Colin Firth in Bridget Jones, of course). And always, for the promise of rain and the excitement that comes with it.