On Thanksgiving after the turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, butternut squash, green beans, succotash, seven layer salad, curried fruit, deviled eggs, three types of pies and rolls, the family was in desperate need of a walk. So we wrapped ourselves in layers of coats and gloves and hats and headed down to the river. I haven’t walked with children in several years and I had forgotten how they wander. From cow pile (“Hey this one looks like a hurricane seen from outer space”) to rock pile (“Daddy, can you show me how to skip this one?” asked by child with twenty pound rock in hand) to leaf pile (“This leaf is a fairy hat, and I am the fairy queen.”)
I am ashamed to admit that when my children were young and we were headed down the driveway to fetch the mail, I did not have patience with meandering. Why was I in such a hurry? Those years flew by fast enough without my help. But, meandering with nieces and nephews was marvelous. We admired every rock and every color. We played with the dog. We splashed rocks in the river until Pop Pop outdid us all with a thirty pound boulder bomb! KERSPLOOSH! We took note of red winterberry against silver tree limbs, and gold ribbons of sun streaming from cloud to mountain.
A meander is a small creek that winds around touching one bank and then the other. If you let it, a meandering walk with a child will wind around your heart touching one side, and then the other with joy.