When we're down here in Laguna, as we are now for the month of August, George gets to run free to chase his ball--often up in the Alta Laguna Park at the Top of the World. It's clear that he absolutely loves the freedom, and it's a joy to see him galloping off across great stretches of lawn, and come charging back with his tennis ball in his mouth. It's not a large one--the mouth, I mean--so he looks quite comical when he carries his ball, and it's wonderful to watch the smiles that he creates when people catch a glimpse of him. What a great gift, to be able to create so many spontaneous and genuine smiles in what is, today, in so many respects, a rather glum world! George brings an innocent ray of sunlight with him wherever he goes.
Anyway, there we were, at the end of his run, strolling past the annual family picnic of the World Breast Feeding Week. More breasts than you could shake a stick at--though mostly, I have to say, not on the job. A folk singer in full croaky voice, accompanying himself on the guitar. Games: I was intrigued by the "Potty Toss," but did not venture to participate. A Bake Sale. Door prizes. The whole deal. A heart-warming piece of Normal Rockwell Americana, reminiscent of those days when things were still all well, before we were yelling at each other and competing for who could be richer and more mean.
Oops. Sorry, I did not mean to go there. My purpose was to Get Away From All That. Our adventure seemed like a refreshing break from a week of increasingly depressing news from our nation's capital. This morning I picked up the Sunday New York Times, glanced at the content, and put it down again. Instead, I'm choosing to take pleasure in the recollection of an afternoon in the park, with moms and dads and children playing happily everywhere.
See, what an old sentimentalist I've become?