May 10, 2010
I just had a wonderful, amazing, adventurous time! As I walking around my neighborhood, I noticed that in behind some neat, tidy yards nearby, there were a bunch of wild scraggly-looking trees. So I wandered around looking for a way to get back there. I found an old paved path, full of cracks and frost heaves. And at the end of it was a wild, scraggly meadow with clumps of trees and bushes scattered throughout it. It was surrounded by the back sides of cement walls and fences, many of the latter backed with scrounged bits of graffitied wood.
Except for a broken bicycle, and a meandering path in the process of becoming overgrown, petering out in the middle of the meadow, it seemed like no one ever goes back there. It was truly amazing! A wild bit of green space hidden among many blocks of neatly manicured residential neighborhoods, wide stretches of neatly mowed school fields and city parks, apartment towers, and two malls surrounded by stretches of asphalt parking lots – all within a 5 minute walk of this secret wild spot.
As I was meandering all alone in the quietness of this hidden spot, wading through knee-deep grasses, a friendly little voice suddenly piped up, “Hello!” I turned in surprise to see a pretty little face peering over the fence from a playhouse perched high against the fence line.
The next few minutes were a delightful conversation (mostly listening, on my part) with a sweet little five year old. She cheerfully informed me, in great detail, about white butterflies, her daddy’s cactus garden that froze in the winter, the neighbour and his huge weeping willow tree (large enough to hold a real tree house!), her birthday, leaves, her parents’ favorite means of punishing her when she is “naughty,” and how she has no brothers and sisters so she is looking forward to kindergarten. And then she announced that she needed to go pee, and that she hoped we could visit again sometime soon. And with that, she jumped down from her perch and disappeared!
My day was brightened at least one hundred and ten percent!
I started walking homeward – a two minute walk away. Amazing how I can have lived here for 7 months already, and walked all over the neighborhood – and never before discovered this secret wild space! As I neared our complex, another little lass, perhaps 9 or 10 years old, was walking in front of me, blowing the seeds from a white dandelion puff-ball with all her might. She stopped when she noticed me behind her, and started discussing making wishes with dandelions! And then she said she’d like to take the long-stemmed dandelion to her dad who lives across town, and that led to an explanation about how she lives now with her mom and step-dad. At that point we arrived at her front door-step … which is only 3 doors down from mine! And like the other little gal, she too said she hopes we’ll get to visit again soon! And then she opened her front door, stepped inside and disappeared.
And by then, my day was perfect!