Subtitle: Birthdays, Beers and Bonfires.
Because we all love stories, and because we are ad infinitum creating our own unique histories every blessed day we’re gifted to kick up a few stones on this earth, the best we can do is share our stories; and by doing so, we share our precious lives.
SO…while the guys brewed beer on the deck at my house, the girls threw a birthday party for Coral up at her house (over the river and through the woods…kinda; that’s how it is in our neighborhood).
Coral is 7 years old today; a little green shoot growing up right before our eyes; before we could blink, there she was morphed from a baby into a kid, the oldest of four, soon to be five, youngins, who with all their mischievous wildness, are the smartest, most unspoiled (meaning, not over-indulged), delightful and well-behaved children on the planet (IMHO, of course); who will, I might add, grow up to be thoughtful, responsible adults…even amidst the neighborly craziness they have grown up with.
But back to brewing. Did you know that brewing your own beer in this country was an illegal activity until 1984??
Yes, really. In fact, another neighbor (one of the elders, who lives over the river and through the woods…kinda) testified before a legislative committee in the early eighties to the effect that home brewing was a noble, creative endeavor that should be enjoyed by law-abiding citizens everywhere. And so it goes…
Double, double, toil and trouble. Fire burn and cauldron bubble. Looks delish…no?
Meanwhile, over the river and through the woods…kinda, the girls were painting pots, jazzing them up with jewels, playing with new baby chicks (the hit of the party), and collecting grass and moss and twigs to make beautiful, organic art.
Please, allow me…
….to remind you what it felt like to be seven. When you got your feet all wet and muddy in a creek, and didn’t give a hoot about your scuffed-up-dirty new shoes.
When you skinned your knees on gravel and it really really hurt, but you brushed yourself off and kept right on playing.
When you twirled and twirled, looking up at the stars and fell down laughing coz you were too dizzy to get back up on your feet.
When you painted any willing person’s face (your own included) with charred pieces of bonfire wood, just for the fun of it. It was all good and beautiful. When you were seven.
But the day hadn’t ended yet. After the beer brewing, and after the birthday party, adults and kids came from far and wide with dishes of food in their hands, and musical instruments slung over their shoulders to sit around the fire and drink homebrews, and sing songs, and just do what friends do.
Besides, the sun doesn’t go down until almost midnight, so you might as well burn the candle from both ends.
Life is too short not to if you can manage it…in your own unique way. My husband didn’t start playing the harp until he was 50, and he’s not that bad to listen to.
And it was meant to be lived with the greatest of passion. Life, that is.
This I learned from once being seven myself. In a decade, I’ll be 70.
And now, I hug the kids a lot and watch them play so that I’ll remember to remain seven years old in my heart. Pick myself up when I fall down. Brush all that grunge-y gravel off my knees, and pour me another beer. Just for the fun of it.
Lastly, I hope you’ll watch “Have You Enjoyed Your Story?”
Patiently. And all the way through. With the volume cranked up.
So you’ll remember, too.