I was a wildling, a child left to grow and thrive outside, unattended in endless adventure and journey. Waking just as the light edged above the horizon, bare feet slinking through dew-kissed grass. Golden light pouring over trees and fields, morning air cool and refreshing smelling different than midday air and late afternoon air, sweet and clean. Something about the fresh air wakened us more made us more aware and alert. Songbirds singing in chorus loud and rejoicing in their morning feast. The early bird does get the worm. Butterflies joined later after drying off their dew-soaked wings to fly better. Sunrises genuinely rival most sunsets but both are beautiful things. What wondrous adventure awaits today, who may I meet along the way? There will be conversations with people and many living things, cats in passing, grasshoppers, probably some ladybugs. I will only briefly be called in a reluctant break from such a glorious day, eating freshly made breakfast. Gravy and biscuits, eggs, sausage, and sliced garden tomatoes. I won’t appreciate that blessed morning moment until I am much older, instead, I will eat hastily to resume outside adventures appreciating only the energy and momentum it gave me to carry on with busy things. If it is Summer I am hoping for rain, drenching my waist-length hair and clothes. I will laugh as the adults hurry inside to avoid the watery assault, how silly they run from fun. Mud is fun and it washes off. You can do many things like making mud-built castles that are more stable than those of sand. Muddy sculptures are temporary in their glory unappreciated by others’ eyes, but an accomplished feeling nonetheless one I vow to remember for the rest of my life, permanently forgotten an hour later.
I want to sit but not be still so I will swing as high as I can convincing myself I can make a full circle and of course, it never happens but still I try. It’s lunchtime now and I have worked up an appetite peanut butter and grape jelly hit the spot and a glass of cold milk. Let’s run, it’s too dark and boring inside, despite attempts from mom to stay in and cool off a bit, arguing I am fine as she talks about my red face. Nope, I am going back out. I haven’t climbed a tree today let’s see if I can still do it, yep, all good there. I want to ride a bike for a while how fast can I go? Hey, let’s race trying over and over again until my adversary tires and I win. Never give up, they always say try, try again. If at first, you don’t succeed, rely on your endurance and tire out your opponent, note the success for future challenges, remember next time they get tired after two tries so do best out of three, I am a problem solver. I will try and catch grasshoppers and feed them blades of grass while I hold them, convinced we are now best friends convinced they appreciate being held against their will and force-fed, we are friends. Let him free and tell him to let his grasshopper friends know I am their friend. Ah, grass, what can one do with grass well you can place the blade between your thumbs and blow to make a shrill squeak and if you are really good it might resemble the sound of a goose. Don’t let the neighborhood boys pick on you, walk up punch them in the nose and walk off, you messed with the wrong girl. The crickets are getting loud daylight is over in a few hours, I hope the streetlight breaks and doesn’t come on, we go in when the streetlights come on.
Far too quickly the light fades and we are called in. Dinner is almost done, I have been ushered to a bath no part of me isn’t covered in dirt. I eat as if I have never had food starving from so much fun. We commune on the kitchen counters playing Uno and fighting of course. When we tire of cards we will find something more fun, daring my cousin to eat a banana covered in butter and pepper quickly realizing this is a great way to play truth or dare. Let’s just say there are more truths than dares. Eventually, we are expelled to our bedrooms where we get into trouble for laughing too loud. Ah but it’s so much fun. After numerous warnings, we are forced into silence where we last less than 5 minutes and we wake up in the morning to do it all over again.