Before Olive and I embarked on the climb uphill back to our place, we sat on a wrought iron bench along the sidewalk. The sun was shining directly onto this bench, and I leaned back to soak it in, the sun hot on my face. A light breeze greeted us, and time slowed down the way a feather drifts unconcerned through the air. It felt so right to be there on that bench with my little one and sit and enjoy and be there just because. All I could think of at that moment were the words to a song- My soul sings, my so-ul sings.
Olive sat in the ergo facing me, and we shared my leftover granola bar, dessert to the gyro we had for lunch. She grabbed a huge chunk before I could even break off a piece for her and shoved it into her mouth. I burst out laughing, and she looked at me while vigorously chewing with her front teeth, her lips puckered and cheeks full. I handed another piece to her then ate the rest. This time, she savored it knowing it was the last.
I closed my eyes, breathed deeply, and felt the weight of have-to’s fall off. I felt a poke in my eye and opened my eyes to see Olive’s little finger pointing at me. I closed my eyes again for longer then opened them to see her break off a tiny morsel of the granola and stuff it into her mouth. I closed my eyes again for longer then opened them to see her point to the sky. I looked up and saw that she was pointing at two hawks dancing with one another in the sky, in love and in play. We stared up at them until we could no longer see them. I closed my eyes again then opened them to see her point beside me at the bench. I turned my head to look and saw a very small ladybug! We watched it slowly stretch its legs one by one, sometimes its wings parting ever so slightly. I closed my eyes again then opened them to see Olive still looking at the ladybug which was now sitting on the arm of the bench next to another ladybug. We held our breaths as we held our faces up close to those ladybugs and marveled at their fragile wings marked with the most perfect polka dots.
It’s time to say goodbye, I said. We waved at those ladybugs and left the bench of sunshine. The two of us- we climbed uphill at a snail’s pace and licked the sticky remnants of the granola bar off its wrapper, like two peas in a pod, like two hawks dancing a waltz, like two ladybugs sitting and stretching in the sun.