As we began the final mile of our walk, we prepared to leave the established sidewalk and move into the less specific paths of the parking lot and park that would eventually lead us home. The final house to our right was adorned with two bows. It was not completely clear what their purpose was or why the mailbox and the light attached to the right of the front door needed one. The bow appeared to be made out of blue netting. At this point in observing, we were trying to mentally unknot the bundles lightweight material with the hope of developing a theory. Our first conjecture was a new baby had arrived for the family that lived there. (Blue was a pretty strong clue.) A secondary, although remote theory, involved their support for some cause I was not immediately aware of. Was there an edict out of Austin/Washington encouraging household to put blue ribbon-like knots in front yard to support the IRS or the EPA or Texas Independence? As we put the house further in our figurative rear view mirrors, our discussion wandered more towards the weekend and what would be on our plates at dinner time.
The next time I walked by, the same knotted loops were still there. The wind had ruffled them a little more, making there resemblance to bows less obvious. The city workers continued their construction on the updated flood drainage system. I cursed their construction equipment for temporarily excavating the area around my sidewalk and forcing me to detour through this part of the neighborhood. The wind-altered bows were nearly forgotten….
The other morning, as I approached the final stretch of the sidewalk and prepared to emerge out of the neighborhood, I came up on the house again. This time, a car was slowly heading toward the end of the street with no other destination available but the House of the Blue Knots. As they slowly turned into the driveway, I slowed my pace. (I am the type of person that assembles the entire contents of the shopping cart from Walmart of the person in front of me. After processing all of the information, I make a determination what the next 4 hours of their life might look like. What are they eating for dinner? Are they having a party? etc. Often I put a humorous twist on the basket just to make sure my kids/wife are listening.) As the elderly couple slowly got out of the car, I opted for slowing my pace rather than walking backwards while facing them. As the back door to the car opened, a medium wrapped gift filled the assumed grandparent hands. And, unless I have completely lost my grasp of the realities of being a parent, it was likely a couple of outfits that would either be worn only a couple of times because they were too dressy and too hard to put on OR an outfit that was destined to provide a supporting role to an overfilled diaper.
Should I have chosen to assume immediately the blue bow was performing its normal function, I probably would have been home a couple minutes earlier on that day. I would have thought about some “interesting” subject common to the mind of an adult. (If I had a normal mind, I might have more insight into what “normal” is like. I suppose it involves a mind that likes playing by the rules and accepting whatever role it is cast into. On the outside, I may accept this stereotype. Inside, I am searching for extra storage space to give my brain extra processing power without allowing my head to swell to substantially.) But, I rather fill my mind with how life is a mystery rather than how it is so mundane.