Sunday, March 10, 2013

Life Lessons 23: Magic

Dani had long ago decided that there was something magic about spring. It all started with her love for dandelions. She'd always enjoyed watching them pop out of the ground when the weather became warm, and she'd proudly proclaim that these little yellow flowers were her namesake. As she got older, Dani discovered the other magical things that happened during the season, from the other flowers coming up from the ground or the birds beginning to sing again. Yes, Dani had decided that spring was the most magical time of year.

This was the first spring where Dani found herself proficient enough at needlepoint to attempt to recreate the beauty she saw around her. She'd done so in the past with paintings and drawings, but she liked this way much better. Needlepoint couldn't quite relay the depth that a painting could, but Dani was proud of her current work just the same. Dani's needlepoint wasn't based on any particular scene as everything happened too quickly during the spring for her to capture it with the long process of needlepoint, yet she constantly found herself outdoors for inspiration and just pure admiration of the beauty.

Aldine didn't seem to quite understand it all, but she had admitted that it was "nice out" and was currently sitting underneath the shade of a tree in the backyard of the Mellark household. Dani was a lot more focused on her needlepoint than her friend, so Aldine had pulled out the notebook that was constantly on her person and began scribbling down the poetry she was notorious for. For every bit that Dani wanted to express herself with pictures, Aldine had the same desire to express herself through words.

The two girls were so absorbed in their own outlets that neither of them noticed Peeta exiting the house on the opposite side of the yard. "You two look hard at work." The two girls were startled to hear Peeta's words. Dani silently breathed a sigh of relief that she was working with a dull needle because otherwise she'd have been bleeding after her slight jump.

"Way to make yourself known, Dad," Dani grumbled in a tone that showed she wasn't really upset.

Peeta chuckled to himself. "Sorry about that. I didn't realize your minds were wandering that much. I guess I'm just used to your mom hearing me from a mile away." Dani smiled. She'd heard her mom remark about her father's unusually loud footsteps many times before.

"You do walk like an elephant," Dani joked.

"I'll take that as a complement since elephants can actually walk very quietly." Dani decided not to question how her dad knew such a random fact about an animal that she didn't think he'd ever actually seen before.

Dani then noticed her mom coming from the direction of the woods, and she realized why her dad had come outside and disturbed their peace and quiet. When she reached them, Katniss settled in next to Peeta where he had made himself comfortable on the porch steps. She set her bow and arrows gently down on the steps and leaned into Peeta. Dani smiled at her parents' contentment and turned to look back at Aldine, who'd been extremely quiet. Aldine's nose was still buried in her notebook, and Dani let out a small chuckle at the sight. Aldine could sink deep into writing and forget the world sometimes. Dani happily turned back to her needlepoint as she sat in comfortable silence with her friend and parents.

It was just a small moment in her life, nothing more than a sunny spring day, but Dani made sure to file it away in her memories carefully. The way her friend sat contently next to her; the way her parents looked so content sitting next to each other; the way the birds chirped in the sky; the way the squirrels scurrying across the grass; the way the wind blew the newly bloomed flowers and trees; and the way her needle felt as it recreated the nature around her. It all added up to one magical moment that Dani wanted to keep forever.

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