Debb’s Story for Wednesday Stories, 2/8/17
Maizie loved the swingset in her family’s backyard. It bordered the city’s paved walking trail at the edge of a deciduous forest. Faster and faster Maizie would swing until laughter burst from her mouth. “I might be able to reach the sky today – ha!” she’d say.
She and her grandpa had planted a small tree just beyond the forest, which overlooked a valley. A person standing there could see for miles. The tree was just a spindly little thing, but Maizie had high hopes for it. During the yearly droughts, Maizie would take a watering can “out back” and water the little tree, whom she had named “Mighty”.
The years came and were gone quickly. Grandpa’s last bout of pneumonia claimed his life…Maizie became very good at gymnastics in school. She won most of the competitions – that is, the competitions that her next-door neighbor, Marvin, didn’t win. They were great buddies, though. Whatever Maizie confided in Marvin, he understood; the reverse also held true. Mighty was growing at a good pace, although Maizie no longer had time to check on Mighty’s growth.
Now Maizie and Marvin were 26 years old. They had become husband and wife! Maizie was the local gymnastics teacher at the junior high school, and Marvin was a personal trainer at the YMCA. They lived in town in a very small house. At least once a week they’d visit their parents together, who still lived next to each other. (If the truth were known, they were very glad to be in-laws.)
In June of that year, Maizie’s dad mentioned to them that the Great Balloon Show would be flying over the valley. Did they want to see it?
“Of course! In fact, maybe I could get a better view if I climbed up that little tree that Grandpa planted – I forgot its name already…” Maizie said.
“Maize, you named it Mighty,” Marvin said, “and maybe by now it has earned its name. Let’s go check it out!” Off they went to the backyard, through the forest and out to the point overlooking the valley.
“Here it is!” Maizie exclaimed. “She did grow up! And wow, Marvin! We could climb to the top and see the balloon show better — couldn’t we?”
Now all Maizie needed was a sunny day for the Great Balloon Show and a pair of pants that she could afford to get scratched up while climbing Mighty.
Marvin, however, did not have good climbing abilities, and he definitely had a fear of heights as an adult. Maizie was disappointed that he could not accompany her, but she understood. As long as he stood nearby and cheered her on, she would be alright.
The next Saturday, Maizie did climb all the way up to the top of Mighty. She thought the air way up here was thinner. The sight of all the colors in the sky was glorious. Maizie felt like Grandpa, wherever he was, would be able to feel her joy. And indeed, he did.