It's funny the things we don't remember after we grow up. Like helicopter seeds. They fall from maple trees in the springtime, and whirl and spin their way to the ground like the vehicle they predate by, surely, millions of years.
I had not given one thought to helicopter seeds since I was a child; so, fittingly, I was with children last week when there they were, once again, in my plane of existence. And how is it that I could go so long without even remembering seeing them? Surely they fall every spring. Is it really possible that I was so caught up in the to-and-fro expected of me that I never really saw them? Or that I simply looked right past them? I don't know which is worse.
It was a sunny and lightly windy day, a Wednesday, and as the kids ran and tried to snatch the seeds right out of the air, I stood up and watched the scene. There was a veritable canopy of trees overhead, broken through here and there with the blue and white of sky, and the seeds falling reminded me of butterflies, the way they take flight at the simplest sound and fill the air with their beating wings; except the maple seeds flutter downward fearlessly, unlike those butterflies who are going ever upward and away.
When a good wind would blow, the kids and I would stop what we were doing and race in their general direction, and leap up and try to catch as many as we could. A simple task and infinitely engaging. And I found myself wondering, as I do more and more, why the world must be composed of moments any more complex than this.