There comes a point in May where it is no longer possible to wait to eat watermelon outside, and that point came today. Having been confined to our quarters for too long, we decided last week that we would spend our holiday Monday in a park with bocce balls and picnic foods and blankets laid out on the grass no matter what the sky looked like, even if there was a hint of rain.
And though it was cloudy, the rain held off. There was a breeze but it wasn’t chilly, and it was warm enough for cold drinks and salads. So we sat on our blankets, and played bocce ball and badminton and chased bunnies, and some people grilled chicken wings and skewers and it was exactly how a picnic ought to be – makeshift, haphazardly planned, with the kind of foods that do not require a lot of packaging or waste to be left behind. Hours passed and we barely noticed, except toward the end when the light began to fade.
Eating outside is messy and important. There is something very freeing about your toddler pouring a liter of pineapple juice all over himself and the ground and it not mattering. There is something very lovely about eating while not wearing shoes. And the first picnic you take delineates the grey and the green parts of the year; a picnic is a celebration of the few glorious months when the rain falls a little less and the nights get long. It is important to celebrate.
So gather up some fresh fruit, some sandwiches, a blanket, and some people you like and celebrate. The winter is over, the light is back, and badminton is more fun than you remember. Some time outside will restore you, and it will tucker you out. Go. Eat watermelon outside.
What’s in your picnic basket?