The shrieks of laughter from the kids cut through the air. From this elevation I wouldn’t be surprised if I could hear a faint echo. I take a moment to listen for it but it’s lost among the trees.
Another burst of laughter — this time a mix from children and adults. Twenty yards away there’s a 6th birthday party. The kids are decked out in their Halloween costumes and playing a game. Only at a Halloween-themed birthday party would you see a dinosaur, Frankenstein, and a police officer race to blow plastic spiders across a table with straws.
“Daddy, you sit back. I sit front.” Theo orders me in his developing, still broken English. He’s no longer interested in playing games with the bigger kids and bounces back and forth between two or three defective powered ride-on trucks. Each time kicking up a small dust cloud as he moves.
The light starts to fade as evening approaches. I take notice of the custom lighting along the outside of the house we’re visiting. They cast beautiful streaks of light down the sides of the brick. A deep breath fills my nose with grassy scents of the backlit hay bales from the ad hoc hay ride we took along the mountainside earlier that evening.
Warm, inviting light falling on the old brick. The smell of the campfire in the near distance. No neighbors within the line of sight. Towering trees with color-changing foliage. Friends gathered around.
I could picture a life just like this for myself.