Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Carpe Diem

March 13, 2007

Some days border on utter perfection. Today was one of those that should be captured and put into a smooth cedar box, to be taken out and held and remembered when the children are grown.

We’ve been going to Cades Cove in early spring for years now to our favorite patch of daffodils on Sparks Lane. I love thinking that all these patches of daffodils scattered about the Cove were once homesteads. I can’t imagine living anyplace more perfect than Cades Cove. That’s my idealized version, I know. Life must have been hard there, but to wake up each morning surrounded by mountains had to make up for much.

The first time we discovered the daffodils, Laurel was just two-and-a-half, and I wasn’t quite yet pregnant with Duncan. Today was an exceptional day, in the 70s and not too breezy.

This is the first time that my parents have joined us for our ritual spring welcoming. We usually go up on Sunday after church, but this afternoon Randy actually took off from work to go with us. That in itself is cause for celebration!

It’s the same every year. After a series of photos in the daffodils (and one or two always suffer from our clumsy feet), we eat. Something about the mountains makes one ravenous.

My Dad is a walker. He took off down Sparks Lane with the dog and had us pick him up when we left. My earliest memories include walking with my Dad, proud when I could keep up with his long stride.

This was a special treat today: we spotted a Pileated Woodpecker right by the roadside. He was good enough to hang out while we (and a couple other cars) snapped his photo.

There is effort involved in seizing these perfect days. There is food to buy and pack, stuff to gather, a dog to rein in, and time in the car on mountain roads. It is too easy to let these days slip through our fingers by sheer lack of will or by putting them off for another day—by choosing housecleaning over mountains, or algebra over daffodils. With flexibility comes great freedom and many, many rewards.

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