I was stopped at a light on a hill on the way to my parents house. The sky is blue today, the sun is bright, the wind is cold and noisey.
I watched as a one of those extra large playground balls rolled down the street toward me. It was weathered and pink and bumpy. I wondered if had been a bright red last spring. I wondered if it would roll into my car, and what the plan was if that happened. Would I need to get out of my car to move it? Would it pop? Could I just push it the mile to my folks’ house? It was too big to fit under the car . . .
I watched it as it skimmed my front bumper, and rolled down past the car behind me. Cars started turning down the road, blocking my view.
“I’ll never know what happens to that ball, or where it came from.” I thought as I continued to my parents’ house with my laundry.
Our washer is broken and the repair place says they can come next week. So until we get it fixed, we bring baskets and bags of laundry to my parents’ house. I don’t care how old you are, if you carry a basket or bag of laundry from your car to your parents basement, you’re basically 19. Even if one of those baskets is your 11 year old’s laundry.
An afternoon of laundry at my parents’ house felt like quiet respite. Maybe I shouldn’t get my washer fixed . . .
My dad made sure I got the settings on the washer correct, since last time I accidentally put the detergent in the spot for bleach.
My mom darned my torn sock. It’s a special sock, Mardi’s sock. I gave her donut socks last year, and after she died, I was given a pair back. These socks are holy to me, but I really don’t want them holey. (You can’t blame me for writing that. Seriously. It had to be said.)
Yea. My mom darned my sock, my dad made me tea, my laundry churned around in the basement. It was quiet. Maybe I shouldn’t get my washer fixed.
I packed up and drove home.
When I stopped at the light on the hill, I started looking out for that weathered playground ball. There is a creek and a park at the bottom of the hill, and I really hoped I’d see it there.
I mean, doesn’t a weathered playground ball deserve to retire on the water? I can imagine it floating around in the sun, playing with the ducks and enjoying the sounds of children at the playground.
But, I didn’t see it anywhere. Not in the street, not in the park, not in a lucky child’s hand.
“I’ll never know what happened to that ball, or where it came from.” I thought as I drove home, wondering about the metaphor of laundry, darning, quiet tea and a lonely lost weathered toy on a windy day.
“I’ll never know.”