We had the baby today (one of the adorable little girls I watch during the week), so we decided to head over to the little park, Buchanon park, on the edge of the city. I ran over, and my muscles felt good and strong as I pushed our double stroller over uneven sidewalks and through crosswalks. The baby sucked her thumb and Rev worked on his mental map of the city, offering me suggestions on which way we should go. The sun was extremely bright and the leaves, although there are less of them now still on the trees, are still incredibly brilliant. There has been very little rain this fall and the show of colors is endless, wild and amazing, even though the dryness concerns me.
Rev is learning the trees, and he pointed out the oaks today, which he often calls acorn trees. The trees in the city have been a pleasant surprise. They are many, and many of them are quite old and large. “Grandads” we call them as we pass. Because we pass the same trees everyday on our walks, they have become very familiar to us. It seems a perfect place to learn the patterns of leaves, and bark, branches, and twigs, the opposite and alternate, the toothed and smooth, the rough and furrowed as we wander around on errands or for fun. I encourage Rev to give them more familiar names, “like we have” I say, and so he often names them Revel Alvarez, like himself. It’s a city forest of Revels, a concept that delights both of us.
Rev’s imagination was going full tilt this morning and he spent a long time playing a very involved game that involved an old hemlock stump as a “pirate ship”, and a “laboratory” on top of the statue of the soldier with the musket. The baby and I alternately wandered through the rose garden and assisted “Captain Rev” in his adventures. Standing atop the statue, he asked me if there was a real man inside the giant metal figure. “No, no.” I explained, “it’s a statue.” and went about the business of describing how the statue was made. “But does the statue get up at night and walk around?” Rev asked. “What do you think?” I asked him, my usual response to questions like this. Who am I to tell him what’s real and not? What do I know? “Yeah, I think he does.” He said after a few moments of pondering. And we spent a few minutes imagining all the things the statue probably did at night, like take baths in the swimming pool, eat apples from the trees, play in the dog park, and fight bad guys. After that he was ready to go.
On our way home he noticed a metal grate slightly ajar in front of the big old catholic church on the corner. When we checked under the grate, we discovered a paver with an “x” stamped onto its’ surface. We decided it was a clue to buried treasure obviously, although we disagreed over whether it was a “bad guy” who put it there, or a “good guy”. I really felt it was probably a good guy who left it there, but Rev was sure it was the opposite. Wil told me later it was an old border marker for the property line, but Rev’s still pretty positive there’s a mystery somewhere there, and I choose to agree.