Saturday, May 19, 2012

Saturday Evening in the Park

Today was a typical Saturday.  After sleeping a little later than we do during the school week, we spent the day doing a few chores and running errands.  At least today’s errands were the fun kind - picking up our CSA bin, shopping for a dress for an upcoming wedding, and a trip to Target.  After all of that, we decided to pack a picnic supper and head to a local park.  The weather was perfect for such an outing.
My idea of picnic food is something extremely simple; that translates as food that requires no utensils.  We loaded our bag with some crackers, several kinds of sliced gourmet cheeses, fresh fruit, a couple cans of sparkling water and cookies.  No picnic is complete without cookies!  We chose to go to a small park a few miles from home.  It has lots of trees, a creek running through the middle, pretty flowers and great swings.  It was an ideal spot for our picnic.
We spread our blanket under a tree and sat and people-watched for a while.  There were plenty of people around to make that interesting, but not too many.  I found it fascinating to see who frequents a public park on a mild May evening.
I first noticed a Hispanic family sitting on the stone wall that lines the creek.  The little boys were enjoying watching the ducks swim back and forth.  Mom was trying to take a photo of her family.  I walked over and asked if she would like me to take the photo so that she could be in it as well.  She was thrilled as I snapped the family photo with the camera on her phone.
Then, strolling across a small bridge, there came three teenaged couples dressed in formal attire, perhaps on their way to a prom.  They too were trying to figure out how to get a picture that included all six of them.  One of the couples gave up on a photo opportunity before I could offer to help them though I did take a picture of the other two couples together before they headed off.
A middle-aged man and his pomeranian strutted through the park as if on the hottest fashion runway.  The man was intent on maintaining his sophisticated demeanor while the dog was intent on proving to us that the term “stranger danger” was not in her vocabulary.  Against her master’s wishes, she stopped and had a few ear rubs from us before continuing on her walk.
On one of the park’s awesome swings, a mother sat with an infant in her lap.  The baby was perfectly content as it sucked on its bottle, looked up at the beautiful evening sky and swung back and forth in its mother’s arms.
As we were packing up our things and the sun was setting, another couple that was our age or perhaps a little older, made their way down to the edge of the creek.  They stood hand in hand watching as the day faded to night.  
Everyone in the park seemed happy, happy in different ways and for different reasons, but nonetheless happy.  The young adults were happy to be dressed up and celebrating a special event.  The mother was happy to be playing with her children in the park.  Her children were happy to be spending time outside savoring the wonders of creation.  The gentleman walking his dog seemed to be happy to have this particular girl on his arm, or on his leash.  Mom and baby were happy swinging the evening away.  And the couple at the edge of the creek seemed happy to have some quiet time together.  I know that feeling!  It is not often that any of us is able to look around and every other person visible to us and say with confidence that they all seem happy.  I liked being able to do that!
I suspect that we will spend a few more Saturday evenings in the park.

Visual Cents No. 5

"Evening Swim"