By gina below
The contrast was beautiful and refreshing after the past few days of thunderstorms. Even now a few soft gray clouds mingled with the sparse cottony white ones to gently remind me of the previous days deluge. But there was nothing like the southern blue of our Alabama winter sky. The windy early morning chaos had mellowed out into a nice calm and the crisp winter air put briskness into our warm blooded southern steps. The hard woods were barren and smoke rose from the chimney, and the evergreens and magnolias stood like giant sentinels reminding us of the coming spring. The thought crossed our mind to complain bitterly as we shivered but we held our tongue. It would be sacrilegious to do so in the presence of such beauty. We were just glad to be out of doors after days of being held hostage by the rain. So we trudged onward through the soggy underbrush. Our destination was uncertain now which was the way of children prone to flight of fancy, but it was becoming increasingly clear to us that it was the journey and not the destination.
The air was fresh and crisp washed clean by the rain with the slightest hint of wood smoke. I was distracted by the natural winter beauty of our woods when my clumsiness and lack of natural grace reared its ugly head and I found myself on the ground in the cold wet leaf litter. Before I had time to cry out my younger sister stood over me with her hands on her hips and a wicked smile on her face, but she kept her comments to herself as she offered me a helping hand up. I laughed out loud at myself as she yanked me to my feet and her smile became bigger as she said” I saw that rock jump out in front of you and trip you”. She could not hide the mischief in her eyes.
Our old fuzzy brown dog gave us that incredulous look she had, and we could have sworn she rolled her eyes at us and our foolishness. She had such a way about her that you sometimes forgot that she was not human. You half expected her to shake her head and say out loud “this was not in my job description” and stomp off in a fit of total disgust. But she just sat and glared at us with her head cocked and her ears raised.
We began laughing again at the dog as I started picking leafs out of my hair and after the few seconds she took to compose herself my sister began to help me get the ones in the back I could not reach. Then she brushed off as much of the dirt as she could from my back and we continued on our way to nowhere in particular.
I guess it is the way of children to find adventure in wherever the path takes them. But a better place in the world will never exist as perfect as our rural southern playground.