When the cherry blossoms finally burst, I immediately did what I do every year--acquire a substantial bunch of them and sniff long and hard. Not only is the smell the best in the world, but as I whiff it up, all of a sudden all these feelings come seeping in.
It's that feeling of pure freedom... having the whole day to run wild, barefoot in soggy grass. Knee-deep, complicated quarrels with my best friend, Sam. Finishing my laundry folding in record time and calling up to their house and asking if he and his sister Juli could come down the hill to play.
Swinging on this swing set. Going as high as it would go, and grabbing bits of the tree with my toes.
Climbing the one tree that wasn't so inappropriately prone to stabbing me with pokey branches. Eating an apple and reading, reading, reading.
Laying on the ground and getting moist because the ground just isn't dry in springtime.
Hay-bale-twine bow-and-arrows and carved-wood daggers and epic battles and spy drama. Dying heroes. Indians creeping quietly around the back of the house.
Dashing into the barn when it poured, and using the hay bales and pallets as a whaling ship. Listening to the rain pound on the sheet metal roof.
Those sparkley days when the problems are so small. When the conflict is on whether Sam's character can be named Lafayette, or if I will tyrannically bully him into letting me be Lafayette. Gosh, Sam. I'm the one who has a crush on the guy.
Now we're all huge and I jolly well don't fit in that cherry tree anymore. Last time I got on the swings... the yellow seat busted.
And even though the cherry trees aren't blooming as thick as they used to, and we have a million-and-one things to worry about and not enough imagination or time to run around like mad and fight and scream and laugh and pretend that we're everything and everyone but ourselves,
life is awesome. in a different way. and I still get to sniff my trees once a year.