Journeys, like artists, are born and not made. A thousand differing circumstances contribute to them, few of them willed or determined by the will–whatever we may think. ~Lawrence Durrell
You stared up, from the bottom of the Christmas tree, dazzled by the blinking lights content with the magic scent of it all. The water drips from the broken branches you couldn’t avoid watering in your quest to complete your volunteered goal. Had to prove you were big enough to do it. You were big enough. (And just small enough)
You climbed up onto your window ledge, pretending you were on a cushioned window seat. The kind you once on a T.V show. The kind you wanted as your own. You rested your head against the cool pane of the glass. You stared down to where your mother’s rose bush once bloomed, watching the moon sparkle in the snow. The wind whispered with snowy dust and your mind wandered to the whimsical sky, the stars singing in silence back at you. Thank you.
You tucked yourself away in your closet, crammed in between your dresses and shoeboxes. Each of your stuffed animal comrades close enough to hear all your thoughts. Mr. Bear, your first love, cradled you in his oversized bear hug back to you. The green velvet ribbon soft against your cheek, and always coming undone. His soft brown hair was like a pet beneath her fingers, and his dark ball eyes providing comfort in times of fright. He held your hand through all of the fights.
Thank you, Mr. Bear. Thank you.
Thank you for remembering the star filled eyes of Grandpa. For the time he pushed in you the cart over the wooden planks in the Ribbon and Fake Flower gallery in the little Nursery on the way to the mall. Ba Bump. Ba bump. Just like the cars traveling on Sunrise. Ba Bump. Ba Bump. Brrrrum brrruuuum. He pretended he was a car. Racing you through, stopping and slowing. Making you giggle out of control. Thank you for remembering the way your grandmother would snap. “Eddie, Eddie knock it off,” scolding a child who humble acquiesced his wife’s remark with a gentle nod and an affirmative, “uh huh.” He waited for her to turn back to your mother and ribbons and the motor would start again, quieter than before. Thank you for remembering his whistle, the touch of his flannel shirts, the love swirling in his eyes. Thank you.
Thank you for your imagination. The fake tests and roll call you made for “School,” the fine French dinner in yellow Playskool chairs. For days tromping through the redwood forest, finding forbidden creatures beneath logs, leaves, and rocks. Thank you for the twirl of pretty pretty princesses, for the colored monsters living in the trees, for the flight off the swing, for the award-winning goal during recess.
Thank you for painting my childhood with color. Thank you for tucking yourself away in the lost and found bin. And thank you more than ever for waiting patiently among the lost in order to be found.
Thank you inner child, for showing me the Way.