Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Magic in the backyard

Dylan gets ideas and it's tough to dissuade him - at least gracefully.  He gets certain loves from his mama - movies, books, and, well, picnics.  He is always up for a picnic and since we live on 5 beautiful acres of meadow and trees, the opportunity for dining al fresco is always right at hand.

It's Spring Break and I'm keeping it low-key by design.  Our dance card has been pretty full lately and I don't see that changing any time between now and middle school, so an unexpected sunny or sort-of week in April to do a whole lot of nothing much, whatever the spirit deems necessary, seems like a good idea.  I've got the long farm to-do list, and I figure I can work through much of that while sharing Dylan's spontaneous whatevers with him as they come up.

So, today his idea was that tonight's dinner should be him cooking dogs and garden burgers over the campfire.  He built us a firepit last fall and it lies just beyond the driveway, between gravel and forest.  It's a good one, too, about 4 feet in diameter, filled with sand and bordered with bricks.  He's brought kindling and split logs over.  It's fire-ready.  (and been tested)

Long story short, Mark got home and we had a sheep emergency, then garden work.  Suddenly it was 7PM.  We tried to talk Dylan out of the promised campfire, but it was obvious the price would be high.  So, what the hell, who cares if we eat at 10PM - we did last night!  (when Mom tried 2 new french peasant recipes simultaneously...Note To Self...)

And then, something magical happened.  Mark and Dylan built the fire Dylan had imagined.  The dogs and burgers cooked, I brought out the salad.  The fire sputtered, lit, sputtered, and eventually became the talisman for a family adventure in our backyard.  

It is so easy to say No.  But, how many people can hold a campfire 30 ft from their house whenever the weather pauses?  How unbelievably fortunate are we to gaze at the stars wrapped in blankets while logs crackle and a deep glow permeates us all...on a given Tuesday evening?  

How lucky?  Very.  There's so many days when I wonder what the work buys us.  Tonight reminds me.  Oh, yea.  The stars, the fire, the Nana.  Jessie keeping close in case anything of importance hits the ground.  Sipping wine and eating charred hot dogs under moonlit sky.  We'd just moved our ewes away from our psychotic ram, so they were only feet away, munching grass and nickering to one another.  Almost silent, they regarded us with familiarity and maybe less indifference than usual.

Dining by campfire on a clear dark night with my family, fire, and sheep.  

Magical.  Thanks, Dylan.

No comments: