By Ann Marie Newman
The shotgun blast of the screen door slapping shut
Announces to the bright, sunny world
The arrival of
My eight year old legs
Leap off the top step in a single bound.
I soar through the air
My landing is muffled in the pillowy, green grass
Surrounding my grandma’s farmhouse.
Overcome by the delicious ecstasy of warm, crystal clear, sunlit air,
I twirl, leap, and dance upon my bare toes like the
Bolshoi ballerina I imagine myself to be in that very moment.
With one final spinning leap,
I land, fall, and roll
One, two, three times, finally stilling
Spread eagled on my back,
Cradled by the grass whose silken blades
Tickle my bare legs; their welcome, gentle.
Beneath the calming midday sun,
I rest beside Grandma’s flower garden,
Where my eyes are treated to a brilliant, polychromatic rainbow
Of lusty blooms swaying in the breeze.
There I bask,
In the in-betweeness
Of soothing, cool earth embracing me
And warm, flower-scented air caressing me
My right hand reaches blindly into the grass.
Plucking free a few blades, I bring them to my mouth and chew.
Mmmmm…the grass is a savory blend of sweet and bitter.
It tastes GREEN, and green tastes like life.
In the safety of Grandma’s yard,
I dare to close my eyes against the brightness of the sun,
So brazenly exposed in the naked blue sky.
I inhale. I exhale.
My breath slows and deepens. I feel my heart
Began to beat in rhythm with the pulse of the earth.
My hearing intensifies, magnifying the cacophony
Of living beings vigorously celebrating the day with me.
Bees humming, crickets chirping, Grasshoppers fiddling,
Birds singing, trees waving their arms and rustling their leaves.
Their symphony flows deep into the
Very center of my being…
I am in complete harmony with the universe.
In Northern Minnesota, summers are far too brief.
Days such as these must be appreciated with purposeful intensity.
The sensation of the sun’s warmth upon my skin,
The vivid sight, the heavenly scent of flowers, blooming,
The sacred songs and sounds of life, living.
The sensual feel and taste of luscious green, green, green grass.
All must be absorbed into my every cells memory,
As I lay in communion with the light of the sun.
So that I may be sustained through the long, cold winter
That will surely arrive
All too soon.
Like the shotgun blast of a screen door, slapping shut.
My cousin Mauri Torgerson (younger girl) and I standing in our Grandma Torgerson’s luscious flower garden while trying to ignore the busy bees about us.