Picnic in the Park

I am thinking of a tableau I came across once. Paul and I were strolling through Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. It was spring. It had just rained. We had encountered a few redwood trees originally planted in a cluster. I imagined trying to wrap my arms around each one. That it would be an impossible hug.

Further on, the lush green foliage unfolded along the path where we walked. The tender green leaves sparkled with moisture in the early afternoon sunlight.

We entered a grove where three women were gathered in front of a park bench. Two middle-aged, one old. The youngest one was leaning over removing the contents from a wooden picnic basket and setting it on a blue and white checked tablecloth spread out on the grass.

The old woman sat gracefully down on the bench, lips lifted, toes up. The second youngest one sat next to her, legs spread wide, resting on the heels of her sneakers, her hands palms up holding the stems of three plastic champagne glasses through her fingers.

The youngest one stood up, the bottle between her knees and pulled hard on the cork. With a loud POP it flew off. Then she poured.

The three women clinked glasses, sipped and laughed. A circle of women, one mother, two daughters.

Looking straight ahead as we passed them, we pretended we hadn’t seen the glory of their moment in the park.

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