This morning I found myself sitting on the couch looking out the front window at our birdfeeder. There were cardinals, nuthatches, pine siskins, and various other birds (Even a few chipmunks) that were feeding on black sunflower seeds and playing around. As I was doing this a thought came to mind: This really lightens the heart. Generally, in the morning, I'm pissed off about some aspect of our way life. I don't know why. It could be the coffee or it could be the books I read. Who knows.
While doing this it occurred to me that the kids in my community were on the school bus on the way to school at that moment. Then it occurred to me the same was true for me when I was child. At that time in the morning I was either on the school bus or in my parent's car on the way to my grandparent's house, and if not their house then the babysitters. Then I was taken back to my first day of grade school. I spent the first twelve years of my life growing up in a trailer court. And on school mornings all the kids of the trailer park would meet down at the bus stop at the main entrance of the park. On that morning the school bus pulled up and the kids that have done this before were getting in line to await the opening of the sliding door. As they did this I took off running down the highway that ran along the front of the court. It wasn't planned, it just happened. My mom had to run down the highway and drag me back to the bus. I was in tears. I did not want to go to school. I hated the idea of being away from home all day.
Eventually the bus driver and my mom got me calmed down. I ended up sitting in the front seat of the school bus that day. The bus driver assured me everything would be okay and she'd take care of me.
Throughout my life I've looked back on that experience simply as a young boy not wanting to be away from his mother. But it occurred to me this morning that it wasn't just about a young boy being too attached to mom. I may not have wanted to leave my family. And I'm not just talking about my parents and my sister. I'm taking it beyond mom and dad and sister. I'm thinking about the frogs in the crick alongside the house, the baseball diamond just a few hundred yards away, the old abandoned camper that used to sit in the field, the red recliner that my dad used to sit in after work, the old basketball hoop in the yard behind the house.
There was something inside of me that morning that just didn't want to go to school. And there are days like today when that something is alive and well.