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Spring Sneakers and Paint

Story ID:3717
Written by:Michael Timothy Smith (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Sambro Nova Scotia Canada
Year:1967
Person:Me
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Spring - Sneakers and Paint


The snow is gone. Grass grows on the sunny side of our house. Birds flutter and
sing in the bush next to the half-full feeder. The warm sun brings memories: the smell of
fresh paint, the feel of new sneakers, longer days, singing birds, and the smell of green
grass.

*****************************

I held my school books under my arm, climbed the front steps to our house, and
yelled out, “Mum!” The door slammed shut behind me. “Mum, I’m home.” I stopped.
The smell of fresh paint filled our house. Mum’s handmade curtains moved gently in
the breeze flowing through the open windows.

I knew it was spring. Every year, on the first warm day, Mum opened the
windows and let the fresh air in. She’d pop the top off a can of paint and put a new coat
on the walls of a room or two or even three.

Spring was the time to change footwear. In Nova Scotia, we had snow on the
ground almost continuously from early December until late March. Heavy winter boots
slowed our play. They were lead weights around our ankles.

In late April or early May, when the ground finally soaked up the last of the water
from the melting snow, Mum took my brothers and I to “The City” to be fitted with a
new pair of black-and-white “Dash” sneakers. Over the ankle, sewn into the black fabric,
just above the white soles, was a rubber circle with their trademark imprinted on it. After
a month or two, my small hands ripped it off, leaving a dark circle in the faded material around it.

*****************************

The door banged behind us. We rushed out. “Don’t slam the door!” Dad yelled.
We ran threw the brown grass. Wind rushed past our uncovered ears. The weight of our
boots gone, we floated on air and leaped liked kangaroos. Spring! Thoughts of summer –
freedom – filled our minds.

*****************************

It was a beautiful day. The sun melted the remaining snow. Puddles formed in
the low spots of our yard. The sound of singing birds came through the open window.
I opened a can of paint. Memories of my youth flashed before my eyes. Spring will
always be the smell of fresh paint. Free from the weight of my heavy boots, I want to run
and feel the wind rushing passed my ears.


Michael T. Smith