Thursday, August 11, 2022

Pinching in Paradise

It was time for our annual Rails to Trails bike ride to Crystal Lake. Such a pleasure— especially for this hilly San Franciscan bike rider— to coast through the woods on a flat path for miles without the hint of an incline. The leaf-dappled path, woods on each side, the shared delight with my hearty biking grandchildren was just another facet of the diamond of Paradise. 


At one point, we sat on a bench waiting for some folks and that’s when the pinching began and the drawn-out names shouted: “Ma-leeeeeekk!!!” “Stop it, Zadie!!!!” So Pop-pop jumped up on his soapbox and the sermon began:


“Kids,. there are some people in this world that have the power to turn a lovely moment like this into something unpleasant. To make something beautiful look ugly, to turn heaven into hell for no obvious reason whatsoever. 


And then there are people who can turn the most difficult situation into something joyful. To find beauty in ugliness and create a piece of heaven from hell. 


We all have the choice of using our power to make happiness or misery. Which kind of person do you both want to be? Do you understand what I’m talking about here?”


They had listened in solemn silence and now dutifully answered, “Yes, Pop-pop.”


And then resumed pinching each other. 


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