Last year, my daughter played her snare drum in Hardwick, Vermont’s Memorial Day parade; afterwards, a pragmatic child eyeing years of marching band ahead, she traded in the heavy drum for a skinny clarinet.
In one of the best small town rituals, just about everyone I know attends the parade and festival afterwards, on the dandelion-studded field with a sagging-roofed granite shed at one side.
Years now into this town and these people, from the summer days when I had a baby in my belly to now, when some of these once-upon-a-time little kids head into their own travels, what emerges clearer and clearer to me is the muchness of our lives, my own family story linking through the tales of others, each of us with our own unique desires for a patch of earth and a well-built home, the latitude for creativity, the comfort of kin, the nectar of happiness.
In this day commemorating profound sadness, early summer is best begun by vanilla ice cream, a rainbow sheen of soap bubbles.
Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.
– Henry David Thoreau