Odysseus’ hunt for home; Francisco de Orellano’s quest for the fabled El Dorado, city of gold; the search for the Holy Grail. Standing among these legendary odysseys is the American pursuit of the fabled Perfect Day, be it summer or spring, with green grass and a blue sky, with room and time to play. For most of us, it exists only in memory, as a composite of childhood weekends spent in cleats at the diamond or on the soccer field at Heartwell, or lazy days, months from the return of school, spent playing catch on the front lawn or shooting ball in the driveway.
Well, dear readers, I found that mythical, perfect day, somewhere in northern Vermont, sometime in May of 2008. The night before there had been thunderstorms, but this day it was perfect, the sky a crisp, bright blue, spotted by a few clouds that only served to highlight their backdrop. It was the grass that made us pull over and take my battered fifteen years old Joe Montana football out of the trunk, though. My wife and I have been to Ireland, and flown over Scotland, so I feel I’m vaguely qualified to say that the grass, when the light was breaking on it just right, was greener that day in Vermont than any other country in the world has ever managed. And so it was that even though we were trying to go 600 miles that day, we stopped the car next to the highway and played catch and that weird version of one-on-one football that all kids construct for forty-five minutes. And I taught my wife how to run a post corner, a first for her.
Fortunately, we had our heads about us enough to remember to take a few photos, but of course, the photos don’t do it justice. At least, not the way the gauzy film of memory does.