Sunday, April 23, 2006
Children are the hands by which we take hold of heaven
Several days ago I stopped at a park and enjoyed the spring time weather. There was a rather large pond made complete with at least twenty ducks and geese. No, it was made complete with two older women attending a young girl child and her small training wheeled bicycle.
Being alone, I was able to just sit and enjoy the sunshine and people watch. Besides the young girl and her custodians, there was a middle age couple desperately in love. Not that they were smooching or openly fondling each other, but very gentle and holding hands, bodies always touching. Young love in the bloom.
Another lone character who was slowly walking the perimeter of the pond. Perhaps searching for the best spot to cast a fishing line?
It was a gorgeous day and we all celebrated it in our little peaceful realms of togetherness with nature.
The couple offered the little girl a handful of soft bread from the loaf they had retrieved from the car. All walked to the small dock on the pond, perfect and intended for duck feeding.
A flood of memories poured over me as the little girl, clad in a pink jacket tossed the bread over the railing into the waiting crowd of now noisy grouped fowl crying for the crusts of bread.
Bridget must have been around two years old. The jacket she is wearing above is the jacket she was wearing that fateful day we went to Cave Hill Cemetery off Bardstown Rd.
Going to the cemetery and feeding the ducks in the murky and muck ridden pond was one of her favorite things to do. We would first go to the day old bread store and purchase for dimes several loafs of stale bread. She would be so excited on the short drive. Being winter, I would bundle her up in several layers into that blue jacket along with mittens.
She was so excited that as I "unleashed" her from the car she began to run at full reckless two year old speed down a small hill towards the pond. Once I realized she was out of control I went after her.
In one tiny gloved hand, outstretched towards the ducks in the pond, was a lone slice of bread.
She never slowed down.
Over the lip of the grey limestone lined rim into the pond she went! With me giving chase behind her. She was up to her waist in the muck. What relief! I had no idea how deep the pond was going to be and had no hesitation of going in after her. Instead I just grabbed her and yanked her back out.
Still with the bread outstretched in her hand.
At the time it was not funny. 23 years later its a priceless memory.