We’re in the midst of a unseasonably warm and dry Spring here in Northeast Ohio. After dinner each night I go outside and fill up the watering can and drag out the hose. Many of the baby trees I planted are doing remarkably well. Some are most likely dead now due to lack of water. As I traverse the yard back and forth with my watering can, it never ceases to delight me to see my boy’s little footprints in the dried mud of what is now our yard. I can remember the day not too long ago when he made them. There’s a depression in the back yard and he was following me and my wheel barrow on a day when we were planting baby trees. At one point I looked back to see what he was fussing about and there he was in the distance, stuck in the little depression where the rain likes to run when it does rain around here. There he stood as I walked back to him, mud up over the top of his green frog boots, the courage of a fearless toddler giving way to fear as he realized he was stuck. Fortunately dad’s kinda specialize in getting their kids “unstuck”. Plucking him up in one arm his little frog boots stood solidly cemented in place. With a mixture of relief and alarm he gathered in my arm peering at his jettisoned footwear. Reaching down I plucked the rubber boots, with a faint pop, out of the milkshake mud and slipped them back on my little guy’s feet, and set him down. Firmly on drier ground he lifted up his plastic miniature wheel barrow and demanded we get back to planting trees.
And there they sit. Two little foot prints to remind me of how fleeting life really is and if you don’t stop for a second every once in a while you’re gonna miss something. Rain, in theory, will eventually fall and start to erode those little footprints. Then grass will pop up and replace their impressions with a carpet of soft green blades. And even the most jaded of us has to be saddened at the eventual prospect of those little feet growing up and moving on down the road of life.
But for today at least I’ve got two little footprints cast in dried mud and a little guy with a plastic wheel barrow to help me water dreams into reality.
Oh, by the way, he’s starting to talk about his Halloween costume already, for this year. Sigh as if being a tomato plant last year wasn’t enough….this year he may very well be dressed up along those lines in garb that would be a suitable tribute to this blog’s namesake. Stay tuned.