Today I have eaten two (2) lemon poppy seed muffins that I bought at Kroger last night.
One day a long time ago, my brother and I decided to take an early morning walk on the Manassass battlefields by our house. We had been there a million times, but we wanted to go again. When we woke up early in the morning, we realized we didn’t have much food at home to take with us. So we went to Giant at 6 am and we bought a box of four lemon poppy seed muffins We each ate one in the car on the way to the battlefields.
Once we were there we started our walk, and I don’t remember what we talked about. We both enjoyed finding and reading trail markers and trying to recreate the scenes in our heads. At times one of us would run across the trail or field to the next marker and yell it out so we could experience both sides of the battle at once. I think it was on this particular hike that we found a sturdy and knobbled stick that we named the Snake Stick. I don’t remember why we called it that. We carried the snake stick with us and waved it around, pretending that it attracted ghosts and wondering what those ghosts might tell us.
We had been to the battlefields many times, so we decided to move off of the beaten trails and wander through the thick grass of a hillside, down to a creek lined with trees. We talked about what the soldiers would have done here and how itchy and hot their cotton uniforms must have been. We crossed the creek and both got our shoes wet. The snake stick got wet and we decided to leave it behind.
Not for the first time, we were on the battlefields without a plan for getting back to our car. I remember squelching shoes and itchy grass. I remember following my brother, trusting that he knew the way. I remember thinking longingly of the car, with its water bottles and muffins we’d left behind nearly three hours before.
When we did reach the car, we ate the muffins and we drank our water. We were quiet. Something I always enjoyed with my brother was our shared love of stories. We’d talked out so many of them on our hike and the both of us knew that standing there we were surrounded by many, many more.
Today I ate lemon poppy seed muffins and I thought about my brother. He wasn’t supposed to eat anything with seeds because they hurt his stomach, but he ate those muffins anyway. He ate them because he liked them, and it didn’t matter that they would hurt later. Yet another thing he and I have in common.