Do you remember that perfect school day, the one where the weather was just right, you were someplace really fun and you discovered you really did like the people fate had put in your life, and you loved what you were doing then and there?
It may have been a fall day in elementary school when you were on the playground, excited that your best friend was in your class once again and that you’d have every recess to spend hanging out together. Or, it may have been a junior high field trip to your favorite wildlife park or zoo.
For me, it was our senior picnic.
That May day, as the sixties had just ended and the seventies were beginning, had to be one of the coolest days of my life. Even though we weren’t playing hooky, it seemed like it – if you know what I mean.
The weather was about like it is today – just enough sun to warm us, but not so much that it baked us. The temperature was, if my memory of that day more than 40 years ago serves me right, almost the same as it is now, a little above 70 degrees. The wind barely blew, just enough to toss our long tresses playfully, but not so much that it had us fighting to keep them out of our eyes. The grass in the pasture on our classmate’s farm was an incredible shade of emerald, as if it had chosen its hue especially for this class of mostly Irish Catholic kids. The trees along the creek were a perfect complement to the green carpet underfoot.
When I think of that day, it always makes me smile. I was with people I liked – and, that day, it seemed as if they liked me, too. We were coexisting in what seemed like perfect harmony. We were having fun. It was as if the day was God’s or Mother Nature’s or someone’s graduation gift to us, its farewell offering, its celebration of our lives and time together.
As I sit here today on my porch on a Missouri lake, working on the news site I edit, savoring life and nature and my fellow enjoyers of this time and place – the mallards swimming by, the squirrels scurrying up and down the big forked pin oak by the lake and the chipmunk who keeps peeking in the window to see if I’m working or watching him – I can’t help but think of the day of that senior picnic.
That day and this one were the sorts of days that you couldn’t help but think of Simon and Garfunkel and their “59th Street Bridge Song.”
“Life, I love you … all is groovy.”
© Ann Tracy Mueller 2012