My husband and I recently spent five days driving through Arkansas and Missouri. Hours upon hours, we traversed winding country roads and enjoyed the last of the summer landscapes. A sense of peace overwhelmed me each day as we took in the beauty of the green countryside.
"Remember when you were a kid, and you would just lay in the grass and take a nap?" I asked him as we drove past lovely, sloping pastures. "Doesn't this make you want to do that again?"
He laughed, "I never did that!"
Apparently, his childhood summers did not include midday naps in the yard, basking in the sunshine, as mine did. I figured I didn't need to bother asking if he had ever trapped chubby blades of grass between his thumbs to make a whistle, wrapped lightning bug guts around his finger, or crafted yards upon yards of dandelion chains.
I'm not sure if he found it more laughable that I once slept in the grass, or that I longed to do it once more.
The lightning bug rings? Well, now I'm a bit horrified that I ever did that, especially in light of the scarcity of lightning bugs these days. Here in Texas, I don't see them too often. But on those nights when their loopy, glowing paths blink in the twilight, weaving underneath the sprawling branches of the big oak tree in our backyard. my breath catches in my throat.
Dandelions don't live long enough in our yard to get picked. I remember one summer they just appeared like a carpet of lemony blossoms in our front yard, but were mowed down the next day. So sad to see them go; they did not appear again.
And these days, I wouldn't dare put a piece of grass against my lips, fearful of an unknown number of contaminants.
But I would love to spread a quilt out by the pond, on a day when the mosquitoes stayed at bay and the breeze tickled my toes, and lay under that summer sun once more. For just those few moments, I would close my eyes, breathe deeply, and remember those most carefree days.
Perhaps I could get my husband to join me.
"They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—
and I will meditate on your wonderful works." Psalsm 145:5