Now we go down the muddy road / by Christina Rosalie

You can feel it on days like this: the way everything wants to run. Blood, sap, snowmelt, everything quickening and spilling over.

We go out because there is nothing else we can do. Staying indoors and getting work done is like trying to hold water in my palms; the boys slip out before I can stop them. Sprout barely has his boot’s on and Bean has run away ahead carrying a summer umbrella. I chase after carrying mittens, hats.

The big one is almost flying: wind catching the umbrella as he makes the turn. And from a distance his slight body has lifted off the ground.

I remember.

I once jumped off a toolshed as a girl. There was a wind storm. I held an umbrella high above me. It was the only thing I wanted: to fly. And it seemed so inevitable, so certain that I’d just lift off. I didn't hesitate at all.

I don’t remember falling. Though it’s certain I did because I’m here aren’t I? Or have I just forgotten some secret magic of childhood where flying is less impossible; where dreams blink in and out of reality just like shooting stars?

Now we go down the muddy road and everything is running quick, quicker: our feet, the snowmelt, the sap in every thick trunked tree and slender willow. Under the banks of snow at the edge of the road muddy water rushes: rivulets gathering and spilling, seeking downhill; seeking the eventual streambed, the pond, the river, the lake, the ocean.

The boys are soaked in seconds but giddy with the late afternoon sunlight and the softness of the air. They find sticks to poke in snowy holes; carve miniature rivers; make dams of snow.

Beneath our feet, slush the color of maple sugar. And though it is still long before the purple of crocuses;when I look up I can see the slight red fatness of buds on the maples. A swelling promise. Sweetness soon. And this weekend: daylight savings already.