Last Sunday morning there was a review on television of the play "Our Town" by Thornton Wilder. It is a bit of a morality play. A reminder that our lives are made up of the smallest details, far more then it is the great events, and that we all face the same end. As I listened to the reporter extoll the virtues of this little play, with few distractions, and simple speech, I thought that this is very much what it is like to be a grandparent. This is what it was like the previous day when I had little Evelyn with me.
We had no timelines to follow, no where we had to be. We had the luxury of existing for the details.
Evelyn and I went for a walk Saturday morning. Typically our walks are slow, which seems to be the case when your legs are only about a foot long. We meander a lot. We bend over and look at gray toads and black crickets. Sometimes we pick up sticks and on the whole we don't worry too much about getting wet or dirty.
On this walk, Evelyn found a green 'ball' underneath the walnut trees. She was quite pleased with herself. So then I showed her that the tree was a 'ball' tree. She processed that for awhile. Then she pointed into the tree and gave a bit of a jump (as much as you can with legs that are only a foot long), then she declared "Apple!!". We grabbed a bag from the house and went apple picking. When possible I would hold her up and let her pull the walnuts out of the tree herself. Sometimes we found them on the ground. Most of them were high in the tree and Evelyn saw no reason why we shouldn't try for those as well. So I would pick her up and hold her high as I could. Then I told her to reach and stretch for the "apple". Finally she would admit that she couldn't reach it and we would go on.
Those are the moments that my grandchildren and I give to one another. We take the time. We have the luxury of existing for the details, whether it is picking walnuts, or feeding ponies or standing in a mown hayfield and being allowed to run as far as they want.... these are our moments of few distractions and simple speech, lovely, golden details.