Thursday, May 19, 2016

nothing + everything

We walked uphill for a while. The tall yellow Aspen trees were striking against a backdrop of a confidently blue sky.  It was like all of the magical places I read about as a child – the Secret Garden, Narnia, Oz –  had unified together to create this extra-fantastical place. I felt quietly happy. This must be what true happiness is, I thought. Peacefulness.

Finally we stopped and looked at the trees around and above us, coming together like a roof over our heads, protecting us from nothing and everything all at once. It was a moment that I’ll try to remember forever. Two enchanted friends brought together in life by some extraordinary being – some higher power – or maybe just by coincidence.

The occasional rustling leaves were the only sound we heard for a while. We were unnaturally still in this natural setting, stunned by the silence and humbled by the beauty in everything. After a minute or two she turned and looked at me, her smiling face shining and exuberant in the golden light. “Should we put something out into the universe?” she asked. She had a way of challenging me, even when she wasn’t trying to.

Yes, I smiled, feeling overwhelmed. Looking at her carefully, as if to warn that I would pose an even more challenging question, I quietly asked:  

“What do we want?"

Thursday, May 12, 2016

twenty five

Dear little girl,

Hello again. You might remember me from awhile ago, when I introduced myself to you and your lovely shining face on the bus where I sat behind you. Hello again. I’m back.

I see that you have grown and so have I.

When we last met, I was fearful because I had no idea what I was supposed to do in this life. It’s really that simple, and when you transition into adulthood you’ll understand, but until then, know that it’s hard when the people who have made your whole life with their bare hands tell you congratulations, go use your own hands, go make your own life. If you’re anything like me, you will have no idea what to do with this request. They will tell you it’s a great opportunity. But that’s only because you don’t have any other choice.

You will be sad and confused for a few years, and that’s if you’re lucky. I am just now coming around to the idea that maybe it’s not all bad. That’s because lately I’ve been able to imagine what’s ahead as clearly as if I was peeking into one of my neighbors houses – the one with the sheer white curtains and the small but brave dog – and I can see my future self. I am watching my future self sleep in, be late, spill everything, go to work. I am watching my future self make dinner, make friends, and make my own damn life. 

So long story short, things get better at twenty five. You won’t even realize it's better until it has already happened, and suddenly you have your own life that you made with your own hands, your small hands, your strong hands, your capable hands, nobody else’s hands, and they’ll tell you that they told you so, and indeed they did, what a great opportunity and look at you, and honest to God you won’t even remember that when it came time for you to make your own life, you actually did make a choice. You had a choice all along -- to grow or not to grow. In closing, here is a quote you might like. "They tried to bury us. They didn't know we were seeds." 

When we're young, it's easy to bury ourselves. Don't forget you are a seed.