The Way Home

Earlier this week our car started making a rather suspicious squeaking sound. Coupled with the “check suspension system” warning that popped up, I knew it was time to take it in for service. The nearest service center was about a mile from home, so the kids and I dropped it off and stepped outside intending to catch a cab. However, my Uber app wouldn’t load, and because it was evening rush hour every cab already had a fare. With no stroller, I had to walk a mile with four hungry kids at the end of their already busy day.

The walk is along a somewhat desolate stretch of city road. Broken bottles and cigarette butts littered the crooked sidewalk. Only two fellow pedestrians crossed our path. Cars zoomed by, dodging the many potholes denting the pavement. We were urban pioneers of sorts!

As we came upon an abandoned high school, we also came upon an adjacent acre of land. Tall grass, noisy crickets, flowers in their final bloom. This lovely earth beckoned my city children: “Come to me! Run through me! Have fun with me!” They couldn’t resist. Off they went!

The kids were so happy to run free and fast through the grass. Growing up in the city, they have plenty of time outdoors, but always at a park or along a sidewalk. An empty field of tall grass is a luxury.

Mother Nature finds a way. She always finds a way. Even in the middle of our big city, She saw a plot of forgotten land and immediately reclaimed it as her own. Stubborn prairie plants that once owned this city sneaked back in, paying no attention to the litter. The sunshine warmed the earth and it smelled so good. The wind blew softly upon the grass and my children’s hair.

Without that field, I’m pretty sure my kids would have run out of steam. But, like She tends to do quite often, Mother Nature came to my rescue. Her field gave my kids the extra burst of energy and enthusiasm they (and I!) needed to finish the walk.

I’m so glad we couldn’t catch a cab.


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