Monday, April 26, 2010
A couple of years ago, when Eleanore was still a baby, not even able to walk or talk, Christopher and I went on a drive and got lost. We were trying to find the zoo, but not being from the area, and being nearly blind when it came to navigating any kind of Texas road, we found ourselves scratching our heads and turning down the wrong roads. We were lost.
Where we did end up though, was most definitely enchanting.
We should have gotten out of the car, we should have walked around, we should have explored. ...but we didn't.
Our sense of adventure was poor back in those days. We were usually on a straight lined mission to wherever it was we had previously drawn our map to. Detours weren't welcome.
We turned the car around and left.
Even though we had only spent about 3 minutes in that mysterious land, I wondered about it for days after. Weeks actually.
Ok, I wondered about it for years.
Finally, recently, upon picking up our friends for a mid day adventure, I decided it was time to go back. So go back, we did...
Lets call this mysterious place, Duck Island, shall we? Ducks, swans, geese, herons- you name it, and there they were. The birds were so friendly, that they didn't even so much as budge as we approached. Because of that, I didn't bother trying to cross the narrow land bridge to the island, I just pulled over right then and there.
We got out of the car- Me, Eleanore, Charlie, Marisa and her girls (Gracie and Annelie- Eleanore's most favorite friends in the whole entire world), and the wonder that had been pinching at my memory for the last couple of years, finally floated to the ground like a feather, right in front of a duck, who of course let out a quack as a way of saying "welcome back, Tia".
So this was duck island.
Some of my WIC benefits had expired up in my pantry a few days before, so rather than tossing them out with the garbage, I brought them along, should we happen to dance with the ducks like in a daydream.
The ducks were happy to accept our peace offerings.
Eleanore, Gracie, and Annelie ran back and forth along the shore, throwing pieces of tortilla into the water and onto the sand, both overhand and under, making sure every duck had his or her fair share. Little Charlie, just having learned to walk, had to stay strapped into his stroller. The last thing we wanted in such a perfect place, was for the baby to pet the duckies the same way he does our kitty (pulling her tail, hitting her face, screaming "PET PET PET"). Also, as you might have imagined, the backdrop to my fairytale, while coated in glitter and sparkles, wasn't exactly the cleanest, and maybe didn't smell quite so much like strawberries, as it should have.
Strawberry scented or not, it was even better than I had remembered it.
After our food supply for those with wings ran out, we decided it was time for us to settle down and eat. I had brought our largest blanket along, a California King sized pink comforter given to me by my parents years ago, and after a quick investigation of the nearby area, we found the perfect little patch of grass to set up our picnic at.
Marisa and her girls set up on one side, while me and my kids set up on the other. Our food allergies, their food allergies... it could have been a disaster, but with a blanket that big, keeping an easy distance isn't a challenge.
When the kids were done eating, they went running in a nearby flower meadow.
It doesn't sound real, does it? Black swans, nests high above the trees, ducks that sing along with the radio, flower meadows- but there was literally a beautiful meadow, with pretty purple and yellow flowers peeking their petals up through the grass, just a few feet away from us. The girls ran and ran, giggled and squealed, skipped and twirled. Charlie, while being the only boy at the gathering, plucked at the grass, poked at the bugs, and rubbed dirt onto his skin. Everyone was content.
Soon it was time to say goodbye to our flying friends.
Into the car we went, and away we drove.
"We'll see you again soon, duck island"...