We stumbled upon the field when I was twelve. Not quite eleven, but with something of the same self assurance, unassuming beauty, wide smile. I have a picture of myself in front of an old tree, doing a handstand, surrounded by buttercups.
I notice a buttercup in the grass yesterday while my girls wait at the schoolbus stop. Of course no one in our family rides the schoolbus yet, but the girls love waiting, expectantly, for all the kids to hop off. While we wait, Zosia digs up worms with a friend. I see the buttercup and think, "It's time."
We hop across town to that same field this morning. I remember going back as a teenager with Ben. We would take a picnic blanket and steal kisses and tender moments in those buttercups. I no longer had the confident stride of a girl-- there had been sadness, heartbreak, insecurity. But I was with Ben. We were on the cusp of adulthood but couldn't even imagine what beauty and freedom awaited us.
And now, with these two little girls. We read the Brothers' Grimm Hansel and Gretel on a blanket. I can't help but wonder what joys, trials, experiences await them between buttercup blooms.
They shriek and run, turn back towards me when the wind whips up and I shelter them in our blanket. And the world does feel steady under my feet as I hold those two warm bodies close to my own, recognizing my own face in their smiles.