Tuesday, August 11, 2009
“Mom, I think the big dipper is going to stay. I’ve been watching it for the past few nights and it hasn’t even moved. It’s probably going to stay at our house for a while.”
Yes. The big dipper isn’t going anywhere. So they trudge out there every night with arms loaded with sleeping bags, pillows, flashlights and books. We go out with them and watch the meteor showers and sometimes even cheat while naming the planets and stars with my new iphone ap: My Universe. How very unromantic, I know.
So it was one of these nights, out there, while laying under the stars that I told them about Shakespeare. We just happen to live backed-up to a vineyard and out past our eucalyptus tree across the acres of tidy green rows of grapes is the white vineyard ‘castle house’ where fairyland exists. We have often been enraptured with the vineyard. We sometimes walk there in the evenings and ‘trespass’ by the green and manicured tasting lawns and marvel at the restored 100-year-old Victorian “castle house.” But this year, this year—fairyland is actually there—and we didn’t even have to imagine it. Oberon, Titania, Puck and others have been frequenting the vineyard—every weekend from 7:30-10:00 for an excessive fee. While we didn’t have it in us (or in our pockets) to actually attend this backyard Shakespeare festival—we would lay on the trampoline and listen to the applause and laughter of the obviously delighted audience. I explained who Shakespeare was to the kids and promised them that next year I would take them. But somehow, as we lay there at 10:30 all snuggled up in sleeping bags and exclaiming at meteors—and we heard the cheering for the final curtain call, I realized that we’re not quite ready—eyelids already drooping and something just as magical, if that’s even possible, as Shakespeare’s play: a real midsummer night’s dream.