The Shortest Summer of All

Tuesday, August 12, 2014 | 1 Comment(s)

When I was a kid I rode the sun in order to lasso the moon.  The dandelions were fireworks and building blocks and fabric for clothing.  A moth was a dream I once had and we flew and flew and flew.  Its wings like cotton sheets, billowing my slumber and plastering my screen door like wallpaper. 

At seven I learned that reptile skin all looks the same, but it can feel very different, and that the bottom of the pond squishes through toes like cocoa through a sieve.  I was constantly moving upward, my soles only briefly making contact with low hanging branches as I used them to springboard toward my higher destination.  

My skinny extremities would float like a water-bug, barely breaking the surface tension as my mind grew weightless wings that carried my body away on the prevailing wind.  I knew all the plants by color and size, and if I never heard of a rhododendron I would still love my purple puff-balls just as much.  Maybe more.

Seven o'clock cartoons were on too late in the morning.  I was up 30 minutes earlier to make sure my parents didn't miss them.  The afternoon existed, and it was outdoors with the balls and the trees and the friendships.  Dusk only served to mourn the loss of play. I always ran out of day before I ran out of adventure.  Every time.

But now the sunrise punches the clock, beginning the list of expectations for tomorrow's productivity.  And with the blinding needles of the new sun's light, I can't make out whether those are Forest falcons or Turkey vultures hovering low, just cresting my horizon.  It no longer matters that I know their shape and size.                                                         

Stillness has become a blessing, as is the absence of pain and heartbreak.  I often wonder when I began to celebrate the missing in my life, to revel in avoiding  the negative.  Where are my sodden footprints? My trails in the sky? They aren't at the parties for memories – the damp moss-covered driftwood that finally hung up long enough to crumble back into the earth.

And as my night begins to fall, the snow gathering on the evergreens like a Japanese woodblock print, more often than I care to admit I find myself looking for things to do.  The weight of success and failure and uncomfortable ambiguity pushes my worn shoulders down to the fire dancers and the warmth of their hearth. My book brings breezes, but the wind doesn't carry me as it used to. 

1 comment:

  1. Profound young man. Now, I want you to go outside and play again. Go find a baby and smell him all over. Go find a waterfall and watch it splish and splash. Go find a newly planted tree and watch it grow and blossom toward the sun. Keep searching for that wind. You deserve to soar! Or, if you'd prefer, get your ass on a plane to San Diego and I'll kick your ass into happiness and joy. You have choices; make a good one today.... SlowMo