It was warm tonight, unusual for these parts to feel like the month of May. The sky was alive with great puffs and wisps of cloud that transected one another in a lazy fashion.
“Daddy come on! We’ve got to get to the park!” Ira said, pushing his plastic pedals as fast as they could go. I smiled as he sped away up the sidewalk. Before him the local elementary school stood reflecting the evening light.
“Park! Park!” Pipped in George, his little hands waving after his brother. I pushed his bike faster and he giggled with mad delight. It was an evening ritual we performed in our evenings, especially when the weather was good. There was a time right after dinner and just before bath time where the mosquitos were kept at bay for a time, and the little ones could romp insect free.
“Ira slow down bud!” I yelled, but he was already rounding the corner of the baseball fields and onto the jungle gym. A warm breeze kissed my face, and pulled at George’s white blond hair.
“Go, go!” He said, slapping his hand on the handle bar. I noticed with a pang of what could only be parental sorrow that the pudge around his wrists was receding. My little baby was growing up, too fast.
We cut across the soccer field, laughing as the bike jumped and bounced over uneven grass. Exiting the far side of the field we cut Ira off in his joy ride to the jungle gym. Unbuckling George I set him on his two feet and he was off running between the jungle gym bars and ropes.
Watching the two balls of energy rocket off around the area I breathed fresh air. Before me a range of sunlit mountains glowed purple. Snow topped each peak like glittering crowns.
It was beautiful. I found myself lost in thought and looked around for the kids. Ira was halfway to a smaller playground and George had found a banana shaped seat to sit on. He looked at me with a mixture of pride and satisfaction on his face. His bottom lip stuck out in triumph.
Behind us the setting sun dipped into the horizon, setting the sky aflame. For a moment I stood there, drinking in the world around me, and then an discordant noise cut through the calm.
“Is that a duck?” I asked George, tilting my head.
“Duck! Duck!” Echoed George, looking into the sky. But the sound shifted, more notes appearing in the air.
“No it can’t be a duck, maybe some geese.”
Turning round I noticed some children standing by the edge of the playground, next to the building. They were watching something with intent, their basketballs rolling away down the black top.
“Ira where are you?” I called. He was running a hundred meter dash, his little legs pumping with all their might. The sounds continued to come from over by the school building, so I grabbed George and headed in that direction.
About half way over to them, clear discernible notes reach my ears. They cut through the evening and made my heart jump.
I’ve always been fond of bagpipes, even as a small kid. Grabbing both kids I all but ran to the gathering crowd.