“Do you have your shoes on? You can’t leave until they are tied.” My mother’s voice called from the kitchen table, forcing me to pause and look at my feet.
“Yes, Mom! They’re on and tied!” I called back. Already my cousins had fled the scene, their brightly colored shirts disappearing around a large lilac hedge. I could still hear their laughter as they ran up the lane.
“Alright then, have fun and watch out for snakes!” I was already out the door and down the steps before the screen door could slide all the way shut. Cool morning air filled my lungs and my feet all but danced me after my peers.
Beyond lay the morning sun rising above a half ring of mountains. Their peaks covered in dark evergreens and gold brushed undergrowth.
Ahead of me, beyond a swinging gate children laughed in the dust.