Bombardier Tales Volume II
I step and slip my way down the laneway. If I can get past the slick packed snow of the yard, I can make my way on the open road.
A motor revs in the distance, siblings on the ski-doo. I told them to go without me, that I would clog up the fun by weighing down the machine, that I’d go for a walk by myself instead. The toboggan passengers aren’t fifteen and five anymore; muscled young people replace rubber-limbed children. The ski-doo pulls up alongside me, my brother driving invites me to jump on behind him. I hesitate. I’m afraid: of not being fun anymore, of diminishing their fun, of making them feel obligated to ask me. But they all affirm that I am welcome, so I climb on, ashamed of my own silliness, and glad in a girly way to be wanted.
The machine groans as we embark, the smooth packed snow compensating our combined weight by making toboggan glide effortlessly. Our passengers grit and sway and balance with arm outstretched, attempting to stay on the sled. Someone’s rear end slips off, deadweight against the motor’s pull. Swerving the other direction arights the load, and we head to the open fields.
Agility, not speed, is the new game we siblings play. Swirls and curves and meandering lines scratch the field as we progress into the unknown. The riders grunt and crunch core muscles. Littlest brother loses his footing, and boots bigger than mine flail and flap beside, then behind the toboggan, as he falls off and rolls in the snow.
We turn a big curve and pick him up, him waving his finger in playful warning. Now he takes the front, and sister locks herself behind him. Off we go again, driver and I laughing at the antics of the riders. I let out a great whoop, throwing my legs into the air, and driver bellows in surprise. He did not know that I was holding the strap and thought I too was falling off. Poor fellow.
Round and over and through we go, skidoo exhaust filling our lungs, soaking our clothes, permeating our skin. Light fades and we head towards the house, just in time to see oldest sister, now a Mummy of two, daintily treading down the drive, about to walk on the road. This is our cue. Younger sister and I hop off our respective vehicles, find our land legs, and join sister, as planned. New freedom and zest empower the men, who head off for a wild last ride before dark. Down into the dugout, capsizing the sled, twisting and turning and speeding along, the last gust of boy-man energy echoes like a final hurrah through the fields. The sound follows us as we walk and talk into the setting sun.
How much has changed these past few years! How different, and how the same, we became, home is, fields are. Ever-changing, ever-constant, our lives ebb on and on, twisting, turning, scratching the fields, marking the years. And the journey marks us, changes us, makes us different. And in our combined, separated stories, we hear the echo of a grand and glorious story, one told by our Maker, shaping us into His glory, telling His legend to us and through us.
Glory haunts our silliness and simplicity, and makes sense of our meandering trails, and that is the happy ending of bombardier tales.