Walking Sticks

Posted on July 15, 2004 by Sara Hickman. | 2 Comments

Are the two joined walking stick insects a male and a female, or a mother and child? There is a set of two that show up under my back porch light nightly…

And my mockingbird, who seems to have traveled from my last residence six years back to this current home, has been lighting on my front porch, daily, swooping down and screeching at my cat, Pip. That mockingbird seems to appear within twenty feet of me whenever I step out to get the mail or water the plants. It is eerie how often we catch each other’s eye. I feel this immediate calm whenever I see her perched on my mailbox, calling out in her unmistakable song. I love her so much. Is it possible to love someone as deeply as I have come to love her, and yet, we have never truly met? What a sensation. The heart in the chest. Reacting to beauty, reacting because it can.

There is so much going on. I won’t bore anyone with it. But, life is very, very full these days. There are times I have to laugh out loud: wow. Lately, io and I have been wrestling, and we get to points in the “match” where she says,
after she pushes me off the bed into the “ocean”:


And there is something so comedic in her delivery that I laugh until tears come out of my eyes, and then she starts cracking up, and we are just rolling around, attempting to squeeze out the words, “Stop! Stop!” but we are just gasping from laughing. THAT is a stupendous feeling. Where does laughter come from?!
WHAT is it? Why are some things funny to some people and totally boring to others? I don’t know. But, I’ll tell you what…wrestling with my daughter just gets me giddy thinking about it because we have the best, best time.


No tickling.
No pillow fights.
Stop laughing.

Then, the other day, we went outside and we were attempting to play hopscotch, but all the rules were out the window, my friends. Yes! New rules! New iolana rules that are very serious and include the words “gold” and “when you land on the pink person” because she drew a VERY large pink face with the chalk after adding an enormous number “1” at the top by the “10”, and then went into detail about how you MUST hop from eight to one for the gold and deliver the marker…OR ELSE. I was just nodding my head, yes, yes! Of course, I’m saying! I understand! I see…thank you for sharing the rules, I say.
Then, I have to ask her to show me because, truly, I have no idea what she is talking about. But no laughter right now. This is not funny business. This is the real deal. This is BIG STUFF, people! I see how she will run the country some day, but it won’t be chalkmarks in a rainstorm…it will be genius and my heart will swell with pride and love. Watching the mockingbird land is but a wee bit of what my heart can feel…

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2 responses to “Walking Sticks”

  1. Lucy says:

    Just read this writing which included a reference
    to hopscotch at your house. I’ve been trying
    to find the brand of hopscotch we played back
    in the late 40s and early 50s. After 9/10,
    at the end (top), was a semi-circle we always
    labeled Sky Blue Pink. We drew the game in
    dirt with a stick and used the flatest pebbles
    we could find for markers. Does this sound
    familiar to you? Maybe it was only common to

    Enjoyed your writing. Hope you keep it up.

    Northern Michigan

  2. sinda says:

    Sara, I’ve been enjoying your blog – thanks for sharing with us.

    My husband has been home this summer with our two daughters, Hazel, 2 and Hannah, 4. They have been to see you this summer at the Big Red Sun, several libraries, and just yesterday, the Art Day park. Yesterday, as they were heading back to then car, they saw you sprinting back to the building, where you told them that you were alte getting home to your babysitter, but you still took the time to say hello and give them each a sticker.

    I just wanted to say thank you – thanks for playing for us so many times, in so many places, thanks for loving our children, and thanks for taking the time to see each of them and *be* with them each time. They love you so much, and it’s clear that you love them as well.


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