Unfortunately, the eggplant purple and sunshine yellow before me are not wildflowers in bloom or butterflies in flight. No, they are my knees. Battered and bruised, evidence of the distance fallen, and maybe, just maybe, my age.
Wincing, I rub into the pain, tactile proof that maybe I should stop right now. I groan as I stretch out those beaten knees, raise my weary body, and grasp my lower back. Just as I’m about to mumble “I don’t know if I can take much more of this…” I am called.
“AGAIN MOM! AGAIN!”
Magic words as suddenly the pain subsides, the groaning stops (for now) and the giddiness of childhood floods in.
Grasping my girls hands, we brace our feet on the frozen lake, stoop our bodies into ready position, and we run.
Until flopping on our knees to a slide.
The girls glide effortlessly, gracefully, though no kid would ever strive for graceful slides. Far ones, fast ones, floppy ones, giggly ones yes. And in that, we all win.
Now on my back, staring up at the crisp, clear air, the kind usually reserved for mountaintops or backcountry, there is no pain as I lie listening to the eruption of laughter from my family.
That laughter too, seems crisper, clearer today. More aptly, my listening to it is.
Then I am called.