Sunday, September 16, 2012
Oldest found this little guy at an art fair yesterday. I was barely paying attention when he asked if he could see how much it cost—we had been walking around long enough that Middle, whose Tylenol was wearing off, was starting to feel sick again, and Youngest was beginning to crumble under the realization that the world was even more full of things-she-couldn’t-have than she’d realized. So when he came back and told me it was $2, I was simply glad he could afford it.
The lady who sold it to him, though, left her booth to tell me about the transaction. “I can tell you’re busy,” (I think Middle was by this time sitting in the street, and Youngest was climbing me like a tree) “but I want you to know about the deal your son made. These whistles are $15 dollars each, but this one’s whistle is broken. This one just needs a good home.” She seemed genuinely touched that Oldest wanted it anyway, and used his own money to buy it. I was, too. But then again, what’s a whistle when you’ve clearly got so many stories to tell? I like this guy better, knowing he’s flawed.
At that same art fair, Middle found, among a cluster of handmade glass beads hanging on loops of ribbon, one with a price tag marked “free.” “Mom, what does this mean?” The woman working the booth assured us that it meant it was free, and while she was untangling it from the other beads she told Middle that the artist had hidden one free bead on each rack at her booth, and all the rest had already been found.
It was a good day for rare things. I started my day with friends who like to wake up early on Saturday mornings to run through the woods, and we were treated to a lovely pink sunrise, and fog over the water so thick it felt like we were at the edge of the world. At the end of the day, I got near the end of our current read-aloud (Ronia, the Robber's Daughter by Astrid Lindgren) and realized how much I was going to miss it when we were done, because of how full it is with wildness and sweetness and love.
Do these things speak to you? I remember one fall that I felt so lonely I didn’t notice the leaves changing color until it was almost too late, and I decided I didn’t ever want to miss that again. There have been harder times since then (and better times, too) but I try now, not to forget to see.
And sometimes those things just come, unasked for, and remind me not to stop trying.
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