Yesterday a young blond boy in black walked along the yellow divider line in the middle of Natural Bridges Way, toward the sea, head down, with purpose.
I thought it odd but cars passed without swerving or head turning. Beatrice seemed oblivious in the stroller, still aglow with the joy of our wildflower-dandelion-picking trip moments before.
I stopped and turned around one more time to watch the boy. His path hadn't changed; I wasn't alarmed. I turned back around. Beatrice pointed at a bird taking flight.
Forty-five minutes before that I had taken Bea down to Natural Bridges State Park where I let her run around and pick wildflowers, one of her current favorite things to do.
She'd pick one, bring it to me, then she was off again to pick some more, head down, with purpose.
I watched her and smiled -- such a big girl already. Eighteen months old and there have been a myriad of incremental and monumental changes since day one. And she finally crawled on her own! The walking came first; she's such the cart before her horse.
Bathed in sun and blue sky, she picked two dandelions and held them awestruck. One was yellow and fresh and the other white loaded with seed pods.
She dropped the yellow one and held the white one with both hands, a few of the seed pods parachuting into the air around her.
"Dat?" she asked.
"A dandelion," I said. "See how the seeds float away? They're going to grow new flowers."
She smiled and picked another.
We picked a half-dozen dandelions and Bea shook them and watched with glee the seemingly millions of seed pods drift away, each with its own trajectory, its own opportune purpose to germinate and propagate elsewhere, like choices, ideas, and hope.
My dearest Beatrice, each day hold the dandelion shine close as it presents endless possibilities.
Then shake the hell out of it, baby. Go for broke.
Before we turned the corner to head home I looked back one more time for the boy, but he was gone.
I smiled, for in his place was our dandelion shine, a zensational state of grace.
Head down, with purpose.
Like a million little doorways
All the choices we made
All the stages we passed through
All the roles we played
For so many different directions
Our separate paths might have turned
With every door that we opened
Every bridge that we burned
Somehow we find each other
Through all that masquerade
Somehow we found each other
Somehow we have stayed
In a state of grace...
-- Ghost of a Chance, Neil Peart, Rush