I was woken by a tap on the window. It was soft but insistent and my eyes struggled open, through the sleep-glue, I saw a little face peeping at me and laughing. My wife, who held the three year old, waved and pointed in to the garden, mouthing, "She's desperate to see the insects and flowers."
After splashing cold water over my face, I found them by their voices chattering about this and that. Seeing me, the wee thing burst out laughing and ran to hug me. My torpor fled in a split second and I lifted her high above my shoulders. We danced in a circle acting like fools and her laughter spilled down the hill, bounced off our roof and fled across the lane. But my body had to stop and I sat, heart heaving, head thumping, telling her why I couldn't rise to the incessant pull of her arms and charms.
The little girl turned, picked up a stick and carefully balanced it in the nook between bare branches of the apple tree. For ten minutes, she darted about the garden finding things to adorn the tree, even a withered old avocado skin found in a heap under the hedge. Her young mind open, found delight in simplicity as it explored balance, aesthetics, harmony.
Magically, tangerines emerged from my pocket. Thrilled, more interested in the objects than their taste, the juicy flesh at her feet upon the grass, she threw the skin peel about, finally hanging it in the tree.
Out of the blue, she stopped. A wicked smile changed her face. Pirouetting, she skipped around the small lawn, laughing in a singsong fashion. Soon this wasn't enough. Throwing off her boots, her face shifting through a series of powerful emotions, she skipped and jumped and chuckled and howled with utter delight at the cool grass squishing beneath her weight. Abandoned to the moment, her little feet bounced and sprung and each time one of them struck ground, she hollered with delight. It went on for a long time and watching, we too laughed at this spring lamb lost in physical sensation.