Monday, March 21, 2011

Magpie Tales: Green Day

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

80 comments:

deb colarossi said...

brilliant, wonderful,
love.

MorningAJ said...

Sounds hectic but fun!

Fluid Idleness said...

Of course she will.

DJan said...

What a wonderful word picture of a day well spent.

tracy said...

You paint such a beautiful story. The way you described the balloon particularly made me smile. On a Monday morning, no less!

Angie Ledbetter said...

Sounds like Mardi Gras with a nice twist at the end.

Elaine said...

I guess for the children, candy is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Nice Brian!

Daniel said...

Sounds like your kind of day my friend. Love the way you captured it.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Funny how we put ourselves at the edge of danger, but our heart catches in our throat at the thought of our children being near danger.

Liza Ursu said...

Thanks for the smiles on this Monday morning.
Fantastic imagery here Brian.
I can't stop saying,
"pastel petal dresses"

kkrige said...

Those are the warm fuzzies that stay with us long after the parade's song is gone. What a sweet day my friend.

Pat said...

A kaleidoscope of colors, smells, and fun! Here's hoping that granny catches that balloon!

mama-face said...

oh. I so get the kids and heights thing. It makes me dizzy.

Family trees?

I felt like I was people watching a sweet Dad and his boys right there at the parade. Eating my boiled peanuts.

TALON said...

That fear of something happening to our children never goes away - one of the most beautifully painful parts of parenthood and love.

The balloon and the belief - just beautiful, Brian.

Christina said...

That one hits a bit close to home for me. Holding back a tear and loving your talent.

Sue said...

Loved this.

I am only afraid of heights through my children, too. Alone, I'm good.

And I loved your take on an errant balloon...prayer released...hope lost?

As for the outing itself, thanks for taking me with you.

=)

Alan Burnett said...

It brought a warm glow to my mind.

blueviolet said...

I really like hearing about time spent with your kids. :)

ladyfi said...

Oh, so wonderful!

Tabor said...

Once you have had children you will never see things the way you saw them when you were not a parent.

Tara Miller said...

This was such a fun family day...enjoying the sites and exploring the city. Did you wish your mohawk was green and white like Cole's?

Mama Zen said...

She will.

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hello Brian,

Lovely description of spring and the celebrations. You have excelled yourself in painting an amazing picture of what ever you saw and felt.

Your children are little angels in asking you whether grandma will catch the balloon going up into the sky.
Joseph

happygirl said...

Fun fun fun. You must be on spring break with the kiddos. I'm enjoying the up-beat tone you've been taking these past few days. Spring is here!!!

Eva Gallant said...

I feel like I was there with you!

-t- said...

i am unlearned (as i have not chosen to take time to learn :) and so i cannot begin to understand the intricacies of all that is composition...

but here i smile:
A man on a riding lawn mower putters down a back alley, setting the cadence.

here i am sad:
Ale spurts from spicket tapped kegs into cups, emptied and crushed under foot, among flowers fluttering down from above.

here i linger long:
to know if it was a prayer released or hope lost. It lazily makes its way toward the stars just blooming.

and here i give thanks for you and your beautiful boys:
"Do you think granny might catch it up in heaven?"

smiles & thanks,
-t-

Brian Miller said...

oh i think you got it ~t~...you just said it in a couple hundred words less than a i did...smiles.

Myrna R. said...

Your words are your camera. I can see and feel the day of fun. Thanks for this vivid picture.

Raven said...

Absolutely stunning. You paint such a vivid picture.

Laura said...

I think she did. Everyone shows up for the parade, after all. This one is sweet and makes me smile. Makes me want to pile mine in the car and find an adventure somewhere. Happy spring, Brian.

Who Is Afraid of Alfred Hitchcock? said...

Hi! Brian...'
What a very well-written, very vivid, and very descriptive, day you have described...of time well-spent with your family at a St. Paddy Day parade.

The question your son asked about his grandmother and your response is... bittersweet.
Thanks, for sharing...Once again!
DeeDee ;-D

Betsy said...

what a wonderful day!

living carpet...love that! Ours is a bit greener today!

and you know granny was looking down and smiling at being thought of...how very sweet!

ayala said...

Wonderful story of a wonderful day. Of course she will. I smiled and remembered Daniel saying the same words to me about my dad in heaven...touching.

Baino said...

Well if there's one thing you Americans do with aplomb, it's a parade. Glad you had fun.

Mona said...

That is such a beautiful piece, so well written!

How clever are the innocent queries. The imagination of a child, so clear and pure...

Claudia said...

aw -that feels warm
love esp. ..We paint with bold colors, the Spring that fills our hearts..

Brigid said...

Great tale, I am glad you and your family had such a fun day.
I hope Granny caught the balloon, that is so poignant a line.
I've said it before but you have a real cinematic style, lovely.

Tess said...

nice read for a hectic day!

Dulce said...

She will for sure,my dear Brian, father, writer, friend

I had even forgotten it's spring... and now I can smell and feel and taste it thank every word you say
:-)

Heather said...

i love the ending....of course granny will - excellent. btw - i LOVE the paper doll idea, thank you! such a great idea! I've been thinking up diff. outfits etc. - have a great night!

ds said...

This is a brilliant magpie tale (love how you worked in the Vikings & it's true).Magnificent, poetic prose. Thank you.

Marilyn said...

The joys and the worries of being a parents - and the wonder of having belief.

secret agent woman said...

I have the same feeling about dangerous situations with my kids. It sits like a lump in my heart.

william said...

taken on a fete, as we call it in the UK, masterfully written as always friend :)

natalee said...

this was sheer brilliance.... i love the hieghts not bothering you.. but with the kids its a different story....

and you know shes smiling down

Rhymetime(aka Pat) said...

Nice little story about you day
You captured it well I must say
Yes heights wouldn't bother me alone
But with kids I'd be paranoid full blown
So I'm sure it was fun
But bet your glad it's done
Now I bid adieu
And the cat leaves you

Hilary said...

Wonderfully told, Brian. And I so get the heights being a fright when the kidlets are near.

Joybird said...

I love the contrasting scenes of green. That opening picture of spring with the dancing trees is breathtaking.

Magpie said...

Thank you for taking me along with your family on your St. Paddy's day outing. I know your fear of heights with little ones. Even though she's 16, still now if Nicole gets too close to the edge I get that funny feeling drawing a string up through my center. I hate it.

Nezzy said...

Awww, how sweet is this??? Well written too!

I just love the green on the grass that's startin' to pop up here at the Ponderosa. Beats brown all to thunder!

God bless and enjoy this beautiful Spring day!!! :o)

emmettwheatfall.com said...

A very beautiful poem. Full of life and expression. The use assonance and alliteration adds varying pace in the rhythm. A beautiful write Brian.

Vicki Lane said...

Wonderful description! Great thought about the balloon.

sonny said...

i was always convinced it reaches nana ....beautifully penned ...

* am sorry...for not being around..we had our festival of colours [yep ..pics soon ] called holi and i had a busy busy weekend...

Tumblewords: said...

Wonderfully touching.

KB said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful day.

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

My heart started pounding at the thought of peering down below with little ones close by. I was always the mom that had a tight grip on my kids too.

Beautiful, Brian!

ethelmaepotter! said...

"Spring spools through car windows, flickering in multi layered greens like 8 mm film."

What a brilliant line to set the mood for the story. I know I've said it before, but you are the master of imagery.

And then this line caught my heart - "Do you think granny might catch it up in heaven?"

Such an innocent, loving comment could come only from a child.

(PS - I just learned that when one is reading WayStationOne, one MUST mute the sound on My Name is Earl.)

Susan Deborah said...

Brian, how do you do this, everytime?

Joy always,
Susan

Zuzana said...

This post resonated with me today, due to so many reasons. It describes such an ordinary day out, yet no day spend with your children ever is. And I so get all the mixed emotions when it comes to care for and protecting them, yet knowing one day you will have to let go.
Hope you get many more "green" days together.;)
xoxo

adeeyoyo said...

You capture everything so well - especially concern for the boys' safety looking out from the roof (btw knee high is TOO low) - so familiar to those of us who have ever had children. I love the whole post!

TechnoBabe said...

Enjoy these times, my friend, store them in your memory bank for times when these sweet scenes are what you have of your children.

Tess Kincaid said...

I hope Granny does catch it. Lovely write, Brian.

Goofball said...

"Sun, having crossed the heavens to hug us, now weary, dips low along the mountains"

you are a magician with words!


Sounds like a great family outing

Kathe W. said...

what a lovely and loving day- your boys will remember it!

Jen Chandler said...

I loved it. Especially the end :)

trisha said...

a beautiful, colourful post brian. loved it.

Olivia said...

I love reading the details..
Brian, you make such beautiful portraits with words, I look forward to read them like crazy!! (that I anyways am!!)

How beautifully you have woven this one.. I am floored!!

Smiles xx

Margaret said...

Now that put butterflies in my stomach (heights and children!) and a lump in my throat (Yes, Grandma will catch it). I loved this. I just wish you had taken a few snapshots of the parade from your vantage point! But the image you painted with words does a wondeful job of letting us "see" it.

Barbara said...

What a fun experience, wonderfully told. (I have a fear of my kids + heights, too.)

Jim Swindle said...

Another fine essay, Brian. I enjoyed it and am happy to read of your happiness.

Reflections said...

Brilliant piece. Fun, nerve-wracking moments of tight grips, soothing calm as the grip loosens a little. Nicely done.

Celestial Dreamz said...

word picture ... very beautiful. :)

Jill from Killeny Glen said...

THIS is what memories are made of...

Cheryl said...

Mesmerizing and vividly painted.

The Retired One said...

What a sweet boy you have to have said that. And I bet that Grandma will and is smiling at what he said, still.

Kavita said...

How lovely!! And what a beautiful thought... I think with this in mind, I will release a balloon or two (maybe even a kite), with the hope that my granny gets it too..

Really liked the way you built this one up, Brian.. a very tender magpie..

Boom Boom Larew said...

Oh, what a beautiful story, Brian! A wonderful family outing that brought the entire family together.

Marla said...

Love this.

Syd said...

I hope that she catches it. Nice story.

lori said...

I know I must sound like a broken record sometimes, but I love your descriptions, "Cold concrete closes in as we go round and round up the tight parking garage ramp until it spits us onto the roof." I love that line.

The ending was so sweet as I've been thinking of lost loved ones recently myself. And, I can completely relate to the parental fears described here. Our Disney trip got moved up to spring break last week, and I kept pushing visions of my children falling out of rides (namely roller coasters) out of my mind. Of course, it was all fine, and we rode again and again with arms raised and smiles wide, but those fears know how to linger. Sounds like you had a fun family day :)