Spring spools through car windows, flickering in multi layered greens like 8 mm film. Trees dance on a living carpet once more, pastel petal dresses spinning, adorning the hills framing the asphalt flowing west into the valley. Our tires hum, giving them song.
"What will they have in the parade again?"
The next city over from where we live is having a St.Patrick's Day celebration. Our boys, in the back seat, can barely sit still, excitement pouring from pores thickening the air. Visions light their eyes of bright colored floats, men on stilts and candy. They always throw candy at parades, gold at the end of their rainbow.
"Just wait and see," I tease.
Cold concrete closes in as we go round and round up the tight parking garage ramp until it spits us onto the roof. Four stories up, the city reclines before us, peaks and valleys of buildings on display as the car drags to a stop.
"Can we look off the side?"
Stomach turns, repeated dreams of something happening to my boys, particularly falling kick open the door between my ears. Ba dum. Ba dum. Badumbadumbadum. Heights don't bother me, heights and my boys disturbs me. Taking their hands, I lead them to the knee high guard rail and peer down the abyss.
"They look so small."
Fingers tightening against their small hands, we watch herds of emerald outfits form inadvertent lines contained by side walks, branching at each side street heading toward the promise of what is to come. Most are in green, some with large hats or face paint. A man on a riding lawn mower putters down a back alley, setting the cadence.
Vikings, moustaches and beards, sneer, rattling swords on wood shields as they lead their high bow ship down the double yellow line. Faeries, gold glitter swirls from their brow down the necks, flutter wings on their back as they ride stilts above the crowd, smiling. Hawkers, wares to sell, yell for passers by to sample or touch. Cup to lip, raucously laughing groups of inebriated revelers bump and jostle as we make our way through them.
"Cotton candy! Boiled peanuts! Family tree! Hats! Costume! Jewelry!"
Ale spurts from spicket tapped kegs into cups, emptied and crushed under foot, among flowers fluttering down from above. Violin, lyre and accordion blend the back drop music, accompanied by loud cheerful voices. Old friends new and new friendships made in moments, though we may never meet again but share this canvas amid the chaos. We paint with bold colors, the Spring that fills our hearts.
Sun, having crossed the heavens to hug us, now weary, dips low along the mountains. Standing once more on the parking garage roof by our car, we watch the light fade. A large green balloon rocks on the breeze as it rises from fingers too loose and not quick enough to catch its escape. We are far enough away not to hear the cries of the one it left behind, to know if it was a prayer released or hope lost. It lazily makes its way toward the stars just blooming.
"Do you think granny might catch it up in heaven?"
A tired smile rings my face, fingers loosening finally, though their warm hands remain in place.
'"You know, she just might."
this is a Magpie Tale