Hide 'n Go Seek
As told by Maureen
The melodic voice of Kelsey Lynne comes drifting up from the garden, "Zeb Henry, I'm coming, ready or not." From my seat at the back porch picnic table I see Kelsey Lynne dart out from under a Hosta plant. There follows the faint sound of running and the rustling of leaves.
I'm reading the Metro Section of the newspaper when I hear the unmistakable stamping sound of tiny bare feet, then a wailed, " Zeb Henry, where are you? Zeb Henry, plea-a-a-a-a-a-se make a noise, I can't find you."
More moments pass. I am chuckling over the attitude of ZIGGY, the cartoon, when a scratching noise at the screen door causes me to look up. The forlorn little face of Kelsey Lynne stares through the bottom of the screen. At five inches tall she has to stand on tiptoe to see over the frame. "Maureen, come help me look for Zeb Henry. I've looked everywhere and I just can't find him; he must be cheating. Please help me. You're so much bigger than I am. I know you can find him."
I look out over the garden. Immediately I see the sun glinting off Zeb Henry's little turned up nose. With an impish grin he puts his fingers to his lips and pledges me to silence. I oblige, but Kelsey looks at me with beseeching eyes. I lie down on the floor, in order to be at her level, and look at her through the screen door.
"Kelsey Lynne," I say, "I was watching you as you ran all over the garden, but I never once saw you climb a tree, or sit down next to the roots of things and just listen, or walk backwards along the path. I saw you going around and around, retracing the steps you had already taken. Go back and look again, but in ways that give you a different point of view." And I smile as I open the screen and give her a tiny piece of my cookie - for energy along the way.
As I return to my bench I think how similar I am to Kelsey Lynne. I, too, run so fast along well-worn paths that I miss what is right under my nose. I pause in thought, then get up and return with a recipe card and scissors. I cut a small square from the center of the card, then hold it up so that it frames one tiny corner of my garden. As I look through the hole, I smile. I'm about to see things in a whole new way.
1997, 2006 by Maureen Carlson