Every spring I wait for the echiums to bloom, ya know those huge purple cone flowers that look like they’re straight out of Dr Seuss? Well, today they bloomed!
I’m walking at Blackie’s Pasture in Tiburon in Marin County, CA, and I meet up with Sunny who is cruising down the bike path in her wheelchair, full speed ahead, smiling her head off, her silver hair whipping in the breeze.
She’s wearing a big pink puffer jacket and her four-legged friend is loping long and lean beside her, barking at anyone who comes too close.
I am flying on endorphins from my water aerobics class, and exuding so much sunshine, without shame, that people don’t know what to make of me. But Sunny does. She wheels right over and says hello. We start in immediately taking about gratitude and self-awareness and it just got better from there.
I did consider giving in to my desire for quietude and begging out gracefully, because I just come from another good long chat with the mother and grandmother of one of my previous favorite toddler students from my music and dance classes. They came every week from the time he was 2, and now he’s 6! Time is accelerating the older I get. I invited the mother and grandmother to my water gym class, but they’ll never come. I invite everyone and no one ever comes. Boy are they missing out. It’s an insanely good workout.
Sunny decides she wants to share a story with me about when she was 2 years old and autistic, and her mom took her to ballet class and she got to perform the sugar plum fairy dance in the Nutcracker and it changed her perception of herself in a profound way. We’re talking the same language now.
Well, then we start in about creativity and music and poetry, and she tells me she had been a singer/songwriter, piano and later guitar, because piano just wasn’t cool. She’d been an exercise teacher and a preschool teacher, and the next thing I knew, she was singing my favorite e.e. cummings poem, I thank you god for most this amazing day, and I sang along with her, following some tune she had once or was now inventing, ~ for the leafing greenly spirits of trees, la la, and we’re doing twirls on the bike path, she in her wheelchair and me on my feet, ~ and the blue true dream of sky, la la, and now we’re singing in harmony, ~ and for everything that is natural, that is infinite, and now we’re singing quite loud and passionately, ~ that is YES! YES! YES!
We’re on fire with this song and with this moment, and people are looking at us like we’re crazy, and we just don’t care. We’re having the time of our lives. And that was it. We bonded with each other. We, two strangers, singing together on a glorious spring morning, celebrating life. Seriously, what could be better at 10am on a Wednesday morning in Marin.