Not that I spend a lot of time in the past, but I was, just a few days ago in the presence of two young kids. I watched with amazement their wonderment.
They visited me in my world, a world they had never been to before and everything was new. When someone comes to visit I tell them when they get out of the car, “Go in any direction. It’s all seeable.” Especially when what you might call, city folk come to visit. Sometimes visitors come and can’t wait to get from the car to inside the house. That’s great. But outside of my home there is wonderment galore.
When I was a kid I spent way too much time in the house. Now I covet outside. I think a lot of people I know think I spend a lot of time in my house. You know because I write and yes, I do spent as much time as I desire writing. But! Yes a freshly aired “but.” Yikes!
I would spend 25 hours a day outside if there were, you know, 25 hours in a day. And it was always above at least 70 degrees outside. Since where I live the temperatures have a little trouble getting to and sustaining at least 50 degrees, the number of hours I spend outside are numbered and varied by the day and temperature.
If it were always 70 degrees or above? I would have leathery skin and a smile as wide as my back yard on my sun dried crackly face. A face that, for those who know better, nearly always wears sunscreen.
My two young visitors came with their grandparents, stayed a few days and it was wonderful. We all took a few walks. Half a mile to the east of my home there is a sheep outfit with rams and ewes and almost-babies and of course sheep dogs.
The sheep were fun to see and the kids talked to the sheep and the sheep talked back. Then I walked down to where the sheep dogs are kept penned until it is time to take the sheep to the mountains and meadows of summer pasture. The wonderment of seeing how dogs and kids can communicate is pretty cool. I go down and see the dogs as much as I want and they know my voice and I take time to talk and pet each one.
The two nearly teen kids were also drawn to each pen. Then I watched and each one picked one dog to bond with, if just for a few wonderful minutes. I hope they never forget the look in the pup’s eyes as I will never forget seeing the kids stick their fingers through the wire on the pens and touch the long white soft fur on those dogs. It was good for both the kid and the dog. A true wonderment for sure.
Then of course I looked back at some of the wonderment of my younger years. I wonder just how many times I got goat heads in my bike tires and got flats. Moreover I wonder who fixed them for me. I don’t remember. I think if it were me that did the fixing I would remember because I want to ride my bike this spring but if I get a flat I have no idea how to fix it. Guess I will learn. Yes, that will most assuredly be a wonderment.
I find that I have the will to do many things. The will and the desire. The will and the desire and just enough knowledge to get me into situations that are truly something to wonder about. Just enough to get me into some situations that I will undoubtedly need rescued from. But that’s just me. You too?
Around the dinner table with my company, talk was a bit about the houses where we grew up as kids. I grew up in Reno and the house we lived in was a really big house with a wonderful back yard.
Until I went back as an adult and drove by it. When I was in my 20s I drove by and that HUGE house I remembered as a kid playing in our backyard was tiny. The big house somehow shrunk to a teeny, probably 800 square foot living space. I can’t imagine the five people in my family living there. Mostly I remember the back yard. Playing in the dirt and up the backyard slope to where there was a farmer who planted potatoes.
Is that a real memory? I really don’t know. I wonder. Maybe that is the true wonderment of it all. To wonder if our memories are as wonderful as we wonder they are.
Trina Machacek lives in Eureka. Her new book, “They Call Me Weener” is on Amazon.com or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how to get a signed copy.