Back flat in the grass looking up through the trees, even on a sunny afternoon, it seemed like such a secret thing to do. Flat on my back on the riverbank used to be my favorite way, half horizontal, half veritcal. Even better was when my best friend was beside me and we were talking, conspiring.
Being there, flat with the ground, we were one with the ground. It was like . . . riding the planet. We could almost feel the breeze floating over us. We could imagine the stars up above the sky, up above the leaves of the tree that hung over us, blocking everything but the smallest space, where we’d glimpse some blue or some white.
At seven or eight, our problems weren’t problems. They were scraped knees and flat tires. They were getting in trouble for being late. They were waiting for the carnival to come to town or wishing for something truly original to imagine. We would make up mysteries for each other to solve, trying our darnedest to outsmart each other. A boy and a girl, perfectly matched, can do that for hours.
That was before life required problem solving. There was nothing we couldn’t fix just by puzzling it out together.
Sometimes, if I think of being under that tree conspiring and puzzling out -- whatever is worrying me takes on a whole new perspective.
−me strauss Letting me be