Feb 19, 2007

Love & Toad Suck Park

It was such a beautiful day today! It was about 70 degrees, sunny, and windy. A lovely day! I went for a walk then decided to drive out to Toad Suck Park (yes, that is the actual name of a park & town in Arkansas) and read for a bit. I found a good spot overlooking the river and the dam. I just sat back and soaked in the view for a moment, really seeing how lovely this part of the world is. As as I sat there, though, I started noticing the activity around me. I love to people watch...no, not stalk, but just sit and watch the interactions and behaviors of people around me...it's cool to see the theme that sometimes presents itself through whatever context everyone is in. Today, the theme was love.

The first people I noticed was a couple...maybe they're on a date, I thought. Maybe he's going to propose! How cool would that be, that I may get to witness that?! They sat down in the grass by the river, looking out. He seemed nervous, constantly fidgeting around. He seemed to be the one doing most of the talking and laughing; she sat there calmly showing the appropriate emotion when it was merited. I thought maybe for a second that they may possibly be brother and sister, but by the way he would touch her face and try to find someway to touch her hair and get closer, it was pretty obvious they weren't related and that he really liked her. It was sweet...the love in a beginning romantic relationship.

Next was a couple of girls, possibly two college students, best friends, who were happy to have such a nice day and decided to go out and be little kids. They were flying kites, probably two-dollar kites with the The Little Mermaid and Minnie Mouse on them because that's all they can afford. They ran around trying to get the kites in the air, then laughing at each other's failed attempts and cheering for the successes. A camera was pulled out; memories were captured. They layed in the grass to talk. What were they talking about? Maybe about that guy in World Lit who makes them swoon? Maybe issues with family, school, other friendships? Joys? Hurts? Then up again they came to attempt flying once more. It was sweet...the love of best friends.

A group of friends drove up. I thought for a second they were having a picnic by the bucket I saw her carrying, but then realized they would be fishing today. Four friends, setting out on this sunny day to relax together and fish. Yes, I live in the south. Knowing full well they probably wouldn't catch anything because it's so windy and that the dam is so close, they still looked determined to try and have fun with each other. My view was blocked by the rocks, but every so often I'd see the fishing pole...they didn't give up. It was sweet...the love of hanging out with the guys.

An older man sat in his tan Honda Passport a few spots down from me. What was he doing? He was alone, sitting there in his car, smoking his pipe. What was his story? Does he have a wife at home who doesn't like him smoking, so he came out here to do it? Did he just need a break and found this a soothing place to take it? Or is he a spooky stalker man who came to look for prey?! I decided to go with the second scenario. He just sat there looking out at the dam and the water, smoking his pipe. He wasn't listening to any music that I could hear; just silence with the occasional hearty laugh from the guy who was trying to make the girl laugh. Maybe he was people watching like me, or maybe he just needed time to think and be...enjoying the lovely day and those precious moments you have to be still and quiet. It was sweet...the love in having time alone.

The older man started his car and silently left; the fishermen were now out of sight fishing further down along the bank; the couple drove away with the music blasting and laughing (yes, she finally was laughing); the two girls walked to find a new place where their kites could fly. I didn't read at all, but it's all good because it was a beautiful, sunny, windy day at Toad Suck Park.


mike gorski said...

Of course that part of the world is lovely, it's 'The Natural State.'

mike gorski said...

Because we were the first state to let women vote. And that contemplative, old, stalker guy sounds like he could use a manvite to the Man Room...except for the whole Honda thing.

Kimberly said...

first of all, that is one of the strangest names i've ever heard.
second of all, one time i was at "my spot" at the park when this beater car pulled up and two teenagers got out. they stood about 25 yards in front of me next to the water and lit up. they were smokin a j right there in front of me. considering they were creepy druggies, i gathered up my bible and journal and headed for home!