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Peter's Story

Size Matters

I've heard it said, read it in books, gotten raised eyebrow looks,
And I'm starting to believe that this phrase that's been cooked up is true,
Yes, indeed, size matters.
Whether yours is fatter, thinner, longer stronger, thicker, quicker,
Don't be too hasty to let out a snicker about the diminutive qualities of someone else,
Because There will always be someone to show you up.
In fact, I am perhaps the most privileged child of my generation
Because I had the biggest, most incredibly spectacular, peculiarly oversized sandbox in my backyard when I was growin' up.
I mean, if we were having a sandbox competition,
You might as well take your puny little plastic turtle or wooden crate craphole filled with a few shovelfuls of dirt back to the overpriced aisle at Toys R' Us where you got it,
'Cause our sandbox was so big we had to bring in mammoth gargantuan dump truck loads of golden smoothness just to fill it up.

Yes, sir, size matters
Let me put it to you this way, bigger sandbox equals more fun,
And my brother and I would spend hours, days, weeks plunging our fingers into that endless, moist soil,
Constructing deep, underground tunnel mazes,
Laying out vast arrays of crazy city planning
Or herding helpless six-legged victims into pits of destruction
Where the jaws of hungry ant lions waited to rip off their tiny limbs,
But there was something bigger and badder lurking in the yard nearby
Threatening to ruin the eternal bliss of our backyard paradise,
And no matter how hard we'd squeeze our eyes and pray,
Try to get away,
Or keep the danger creeping into our minds at bay
When we heard our mother's sweet, saintly voice say,
"Do you know what I'd really like for you boys to do today?"
We knew we were doomed.

Pretty soon we'd be toiling away, pulling weeds out of her green monster of an overgrown garden
Sentenced to childhood slave labor under the beatings of a Texas summer sun,
Let me tell you, in this case, bigger garden equaled no fun
Because it couldn't be done just by ripping those unwanted plants off at their visible shoots.
No, our mom made sure we knew how to get out the whole root
Using all the brute force of our little childhood limbs,
Wrestling with trees that had sunk their teeth all the way to the magma of earth's molten core.
Of course, the magic of two young boys tapping into an eternal creative well,
Didn't take long to transform our garden hell into an African jungle
With two, famous explorers blazing a trail to their triumphant meeting,
Defeating our imaginary foes, and sometimes each other with flying dirt clod bombs.
Hey, look at the size of this weed!
Mine's bigger! Uh, uh, mine is! No, mine is! Why don't you just eat 'em both and find out...
Somehow the joy of having those deep rooted barbs completely out made me forget the difficult struggle and strain

All these enormous memories come flooding back to me as an adult, home again,
Still thinking about the pain of a recent breakup with my girlfriend.
My enormous childhood sandbox got replaced by a toolshed years ago,
But I know now what my mother hid behind the sparkle of her wise request that seemed so cruel.
Pools of sweat fall carelessly from my unfurrowed brow.
I plunge my fingers once again here and now
Into the cool, magic soil of the garden I used to hate,
Forgetting the weight and pain of life's difficulties as I wrestle with clinging weeds,
Clearing space to nurture these valuable seeds,
The size of my heart growing to forgive the hurt of past actions and deeds,
Patiently pulling them completely out by the root.


Graphic Design & © 2008 - Peter Nevland. Website Design by Dan Kingsley.