Good morning! This Monday doesn’t feel so difficult, since the past weekend was spring-like and sunny. I left my heavy coat at home, biked into the city and took a walk around the “Lakes” in Copenhagen with hundreds of other happy people: couples holding hands, baby-stroller gangs, groups of joggers weaving in between the slower walkers, people lying on the grass tanning (please note that it was only 46 degrees outside… crazy, sun-starved Danes…)
A neighbor from home mailed me the sweetest note last week. She’s someone who has watched me and my sisters grow up on Annry Drive. The middle school bus stop was at the corner of her front yard. On any given day, she’s taking a brisk walk through the neighborhood, with her silky-haired golden retriever and dainty Afghan hound, who know where we live, and stop mid-walk at our driveway to see if we’re outside, ready to play. She has been like our “cool aunt” and I’ve always had a sense that I can tell her about anything that scares or worries me. Her delicate southern drawl, the herbs in the wooden planter on her back porch, and the crisp American flag gracing the front porch–these things say “home” to me.
On bare skinny legs
On the hottest days of late spring
We would bound off the roaring schoolbus, (spitting out hot, noxious clouds of fumes that mingled with the last of the dogwood and freshly mowed lawns)
We would skip straight into your backyard, stand at your back door, with a question in our eyes–and smiling, you always indulged us!
Our favorite playmates, leaping from the cool shades of the house, greeted us as if they had been waiting all day:
Warm animal-licks on our faces and knees,
followed by frantic chases after neon-green tennis balls…
Collapsing onto scratchy grass in heaps, sweet-smelling, sweaty tangles of fur in which we buried our noses, laughing and breathless
Under a white-blue sky, which gave way to folds of deep blue velvet where lightning bugs played tag, we did too,
Until the predictable, six-o-clock dinner-call rang out from another front door
a grill somewhere–sweet corn, and chicken?
and the promise of a weekend ahead.