It was one of those lovely days. The sun was warm on the skin, the sky was a beautiful soft blue, and the clouds looked like white fluffy pillows. The breeze was blowing just enough to make the birds seem to be effortless in their flight. I remember thinking how fortunate I was to be there in that spot at the particular moment in time.
My grandson was three years old. He loved to go to the park. He found great laughter in watching the birds and scattering the bird seed. One afternoon he had gotten into a squabble with a large white goose and the goose had won. So we had searched the park until we found a fallen tree branch. We honed that branch until it was the perfect fit and dubbed it the “Honker Stick”. He never hit a bird with the Honker Stick, but if he waived it the geese knew that he meant business and they would accept his offer of seed without trying to take a taste of a knee or knuckle. Armed with his stick and bird seed his laughter could be heard all over the park.
This particular day we had gone to McDonalds for lunch and as we were getting in the car he asked if we could go to the park before we had to go home. He had saved some of his french fries to share with the birds. It was such a lovely day I thought his suggestion was splendid.
He had a little green tractor that he loved to ride. In fact, his green tractor was his favorite mode of transportation. He absolutely loved that green tractor. He called it his ’green machine’. I had a wheelchair. I absolutely hated that wheelchair. I called it my *>&^%$; but my legs were beginning to leave me and I often needed to wheel out of where I had walked in. His green machine and my wheelchair were in the back of my car. I looked at the perfect day and thought that his suggestion was perfect too. So we took the saved french fries, the green machine, and the wheelchair and went to the park.
After I got the green machine, the wheelchair, and the bird seed out of the back of the car we decided to have a race. I wheeled the chair and he pedaled the machine and we laughed out loud as we worked to be the one that would reach the lake first. We even received a bit of encouragement from the people that only had legs to get them where they wanted to be.
While he fed the birds I sat on a park bench and soaked up the contentment that the day had brought me. A flock of birds had risen and I watched as they flew in the beautiful sky. They were a perfect addition to this perfect day. My grandson came and sat with me and we talked about the freedom of the birds and where we thought they might be going. He conjured up lands that only a three year old could conjure; funny, make believe lands that no one but him and the birds would know about. He reached into his pocket and grabbed some of his french fries and threw them into the air. Some exotic food for the birds to take to their mythical lands.
There was one bird that saw the french fries flying in the air. It changed direction to investigate the offered food. It flew toward us in a sweeping arc; it?s wings spread wide. We giggled as we watched it fly in close and swirl back up in the air. We thought we had been given a gift, a perfect gift on a perfect day...................................until the damn thing circled one more time and SHIT on my head.
I went home and washed my hair three (3) times. Some days it?s enough to just be thankful that elephants don?t fly.