Joy for Free

Watching our grand daughter frolic in the sprinkler, I remembered the utter joy the first day we were allowed to go barefoot–in the zoysia grass, under the mimosas, only to get “stung on a bee” as one of us lamented when it happened.

The moving-parts oscillating gizmos came along well after the first one I remember–a ring of brass with holes in it that just sat there and put out a tiaraof luke-warm Alabama water a few feet into the sultry air.

Joy is found in free and simple things when you’re six. We should all be six as often as possible.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. I say Amen too. Some of my fondest moments in childhood were spent in the sprinkler and my memories of my children doing it surface often. Grandchildren too, although we had a pool then and sprinklers were not so important.