Fields of wildflowers= impromptu poetry.

The rest of my birthday was amazing.  We played in the park, and then we grabbed pizzas and went to meet up with friends, where I thought we'd eat and then do cake or something.  But no, I stepped inside the door and my friend Christy said, "I'm whisking you away..." and off we whisked!

I felt as though I was doing something illegal.

"Are you sure?" I asked a few times, until I was satisfied that it was going to be okay.  And then I said, "I'm just wondering about the children," and Christy assured me that the children were well taken care of.  So I gave myself fully into the hands of birthday whisking, which involved Sushi!  and (joy upon joy) a SPA MASSAGE.  I loved the massage.  I was a little disconcerted by the way the lady acted as though I should know exactly what to do.  "You mean I should take all of my clothes off and then get under the sheet?" I asked, sounding prudish but in actuality just confused.

It was great!  Of course, being me, I had to embarrass myself a little by emerging from the massage looking as though I'd mutated into a red-eyed tree frog.  Somehow I seemed to be allergic to the eye pillow the masseuse had placed over my eyes, and they swelled up into flaming red balloons.  The receptionist and the masseuse turned to look at me, and their serene faces quickly became concerned.  I don't think allergic reaction was the result they were going for, but my body felt very relaxed, thank you.

I recovered as we drove to our final destination, a wee party at the home of some other friends.  Once again, I began to ask about the children, and everyone conjured up a story about a homeless man who assured them he'd take good care of my kids.  I finally cornered someone and forced the truth out of her.  "Sara's watching them," she replied, and from that moment on, I could relax.

The highlight of the party was a song that Chinua made up from words that everyone in the room came up with to describe me.  It turned out to be a little reggae ditty with the refrain, "You don't have club foot."  There were lots of other sweet words that said nice things about me but that refrain was catchy as all get-out, and one of my favorite moments was the line "...and all your toes swing freely..."

We're home now, and I had a lovely day: cleaning, hanging my laundry on the line, moving furniture around.  Renee and I drove into town this afternoon for dance class, which starts in a couple of hours.  Looking on the bright side of things, I reflected, as we drove, that if we lived in town with all the benefits of a town and real live grocery stores and real live herb stores and real live thrift shops and real live coffee shops, we would miss out on this drive that still takes my breath away, every time.

The wildflowers this year!  The wildflowers!  The late rains came and gave us the prettiest wildflowers I've seen.  Hills of purple.  Pink clover.  Poppies, wild orchids.  I gasp, I snort, I can't stop exclaiming over the wildflowers.  I mourn that they are so short-lived, that it will quickly become hot and the sun will scorch them.

if I could,

I would weave you a ladder of wildflowers.

it would stretch straight into the air,

and I'm sure that your feet would scarcely bruise the petals

you'd feel them tickling that soft underside of your foot

as you leapt up my ladder, laughing.

you'd rise above all those things that nicker and nobble

the smokestacks, soot clinging to your clothes, the mounds of paper

bills and to do lists and, well, and all of it

you'd leave the freeways and the dust, the stripmalls, as you held on tightly

poppies springing back under your feet.

lupin under your hands,

I can see you, eying that one cloud as a good resting spot.

the cloud that resembles your band teacher (from the seventh grade.)