Ghosts of Summer Picnics

Sept. 24, 2012

Not one stone has caught my attention. And it’s not that I’m so particular. My life is cluttered with rocks and stones that I’ve picked up from all over the world. I’ll usually take one from everywhere I go. But here it’s mostly chopped up granite, Beau went down to the creek here in New Hope, Pennsylvania where I performed a concert at the New Hope Winery and he found a heart shaped granite. I watched him wade from my perch. He found the spot where ghosts of summer picnics cooled themselves in hot summer. But yesterday was the equinox. Beau might be the last body to submerge into that cold water running under the bridge.

From my vantage point, I watch. I watch weekenders crossover. The keeping-fit ones who walk with that aura. “1-2-12-15 more steps and I’m finished. I will be fit and perfect and never fat or old. I’ll beat the system.” God bless these dear hearts. I watch the bike riders with helmets. The helmets, the ones shaped like half a football, protruding front and back, made of shiny impervious materials with horizontal stripes accentuating the bizarre shape that keeps me from riding altogether. I would like a head-shaped helmet I know, I know...not as aerodynamic, not as protective. What? I see bikers as in “biker dudes” wearing that germanic roundy one with the red crusaders cross but that is so not me. I’m picturing maybe a Flash Gordon on the moon one, red so that the cars will see me. I know people frown on this but I like sidewalk riding. You mostly don’t need a helmet on sidewalks but then you have all those pesky walking people. The ones who walk to get somewhere, well, they’re fine. It’s those keep-fit ones when, crossing the street, keep marching in place. Maybe they should wear helmets and use the street. And the bicycle people can use the sidewalks. Oh, and that go in the direction of traffic, no. That leaves the onus on them to see me and that’s where the helmet idea comes from in the first place. Of course, they’re not going to see you. These four-wheeling car people are busy multitasking behind the wheel, texting, fiddling with speakerphones, adjusting and...blip, you’re gone. No thank you. I like to face the traffic without a helmet. Cars are pretty big. I can see them and certainly hear them coming from a mile away. If they’re busy with very important business, I can see them swerving and can go to the side. Hey, I’m not proposing new laws. Just envisioning my less ridiculous world. The hours, years that went into designing helmets and passing ordinances and drafting proposals, I’m not discounting for our bizarre civilization. Earth, I’m afraid, has become a galaxy joke. I’m not dismissing the need for all of it, but I want to ride and see what is coming and feel the wind in my hair. I want to look down for a minute on a beautiful stone that I must have and...blip. “You see” they’ll say, “she should have worn that other species-like helmet.”

It was a great night by the way my dear ones. Thank you and thanks to Sandra and Bob and Sassy the dog where I live and Susan who made breakfast, made me want to live here in New Hope, in this beam of autumn sunlight. A leaf just fell on my path and the sun went behind an overhead tree. My coffee is cold. The train whistle is fading in the distance. The quiet has descended as the last of the weekend wanderers goes home.