It’s shockingly round, still pink and terribly faded. Ensnared in a thicket at the far side of the swamp on the edge of town. Weather-worn mud-stained, sandblasted and sun-basted. Somehow it survived. Quite an adventurer, that spirited sphere. Larger than I imagined when you first described it. I’ll admit, I didn’t notice it until mid-winter. Blasé, I waited in traffic at the three way intersection. You know the one. You can turn left toward the hospital, go straight into Wakefield, east to the Ocean or make it a four way and drive into the swamp. I was trying very hard to look at things other than my phone. Something drew my attention to the right where I noticed the swamp. Just when you think you know everything about a place. The round pink stood out like a sore thumb among winters three shades of gray. There it set, in living color, the disappearing pink ball.
By then it had become lodged atop a skim of ice at the distant edge. I knew at once that it was yours and that I’d check it every so often until it blew past. Or you returned to class.
I can’t imagine the escapade of its journey after departing your lawn beyond the fence. Upon my arrival home I surveyed my map to discover myriad routes by way to arrive at the swamp. Six of one. Half of the other. All fraught with peril. A straight line would lead it across miles of side streets and a couple of major roads. Come winter frost one would assume these streets to be serenely quiet, sleepy seaside community that we are. Deceivingly not so with the university crowd, controlled partying and neon door tags. Pink ball has brass.
The orb may have chosen the long way through a sandstorm, up Ocean Rd. along Scarborough Beach past Pt. Judith Country Club to South Pier Road., risking it’s little round life through the four way intersection at the bank. West on Woodruff and nestled a mile and a half in, on the right, at the three way stop. Or chosen Knowlesway past St. Mary Star of The Sea. Dodged it’s way between speeding vehicles along Point Judith Road (aka Narragansett Freeway). Brave ball would have cut across Stop & Shop parking lot and toppled exhaustedly into the gully.
I did imagine that it caught aloft of a strong south west gust which lost itself midflight and gently drifted downy like to the middle of the peaceful bog. The latter being my choice, were I so fortunate as to be an inflatable, air liftable of any shape or color. Primary colors. Never pastels.
Such is the density of vines, thorns, branches and muddied leaves it rests within and upon. You may think the thicket grew around it, entrapping it over many years of time. But I know better. It’s likely no older than a year or two. I’ll wager it still has a lively bounce to it. A ball such as that doesn’t deflate easily.
So, if you’re ever stuck in traffic at a three way intersection, feeling somewhat bored, look to the wood, the thicket, the swamp for inspiration. You never know what you’ll see. You may see something pink or round. You might be reminded of a peers creative essay from last Fall.
If you go back with your camera in the Spring to prove that it’s really there, be careful crossing the three way. But our locals will be keen to you. Allow you to cross in the off season. They’re kind that way. Once safely there, you’ll hear a deafening euphony of new life. Stoop right down to the level of the earth. You’ll discover blooming crocuses, mating frogs, turtles log rolling for the suns rays, Springs first green sprouts. You will revel in warm sunshine, fragrance of freshly awakened Mother Earth and the essence of your childhood.
All because of a silly, courageous pink ball.