“Things we do for the first time ever… Thinking about it, noticing it, is new. You do things and don’t watch. Then all of a sudden you look and see what you’re doing and it’s the first time, really. I’m going to divide the summer up in two parts. First part of this tablet is titled: RITES AND CEREMONIES. The first root beer pop of the year. The first time running barefoot in the grass of the year. First time almost drowning in the lake of the year. First watermelon. First mosquito. First harvest of dandelions.”
Pride of lions in the yard. Stare, and they burn a hole in your retina. A common flower, a weed that no one sees, yes. But for us, a noble thing, the dandelion.
“It won’t work,’ Mr. Bentley continued, sipping his tea. ‘No matter how hard you try to be what you once were, you can only be what you are here and now. Time hypnotizes. When you’re nine, you think you’ve always been nine years old and will always be. When you’re thirty, it seems you’ve always been balanced there on that bright rim of middle life. And then when you turn seventy, you are always and forever seventy. You’re in the present, you’re trapped in a young now or an old now, but there is no other now to be seen.”
Because if you ran, time ran. You yelled and screamed and raced and rolled and tumbled and all of a sudden the sun was gone and the whistle was blowing and you were on your long way home to supper. When you weren’t looking, the sun got around behind you! The only way to keep things slow was to watch everything and do nothing! You could stretch a day to three days, sure, just by watching!
“Sandwich outdoors isn’t a sandwich anymore. Tastes different than indoors, notice? Got more spice. Tastes like mint and pinesap. Does wonders for the appetite.”
A walk on a spring morning is better than an eighty-mile ride in a hopped-up car, you know why? Because it’s full of flavors, full of a lot of things growing. You’ve time to seek and find.
All quotes from Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury. If you’ve never read it, you must. Right now. Get thee to a library.
Last year we didn’t make the wine, and I don’t know that we will this year either. Picking the flowers for cookies felt like a better, more immediate and more three year old gratifying project.
The best part is we can do it everyday until the yellow lions give over to the grizzled mane of fuzzy parachutes. And there are things she needs to learn…like how to blow and make a wish at the same time. Like which angle is best for rolling down grassy hills. How to separate out the yellow from the green. And just which tastes better…cookies in the morning, cookies in the afternoon, or cookies at night.