Where did you go?

All through the long, dry time of bright light I have been waiting to feel the rain falling on me as I walk out into the mists that draw me to them. Grey blankets of fresh-smelling water mingled with cool air wrap themselves around me and at last I can expand back to my full size after the months of partial desiccation where every drop of water is more precious than a jewel. I love the cold and darkness of winter. I revel in the way a little wind can clear the places I like to wander of people who spend most of their days indoors. It is the time when my body and senses that are so unsuited to life inside a climate-controlled building suddenly make sense. Behind a desk in an office I am always somewhat awkward. Too many parts of me are not shaped right, the temperature is usually too hot and the lights are generally way too bright. In the forest at this time of year those situations reverse and I am granted a welcome respite from the constant reminders that those who design living experiences have decided that either someone like me doesn’t exist or isn’t important to consider. In the fog passing through a grove of cypress I am welcomed as long as I return the respect given to me as I arrive slowly and quietly by following the small slivers of sun that make it to the forest floor.

It is also a time for getting serious about what is important and letting go of what is not. I get to have some input on what I lose and what I leave behind. If I do it with respect and care, the cleansing process applied to my physical surroundings is powerful sympathetic magic. I look forward to the joy that is in thanking something for the time we spent together, then helping it on the the next phase of its existence. Sometimes this is under the earth or a trash can. Other times it is in another person’s life. These moments of helping the wheels of change turn around again often lead to poetry, as they have in this case.

For all the beauty that is changing I send out this song. I let it float away but do not forget because without losing the pieces of the past, there would be no room for the present.

As I think of the fog and the trees when I arrive home, one little girl who is very dear to me reminds me of so much that is lost every moment and of how those same moments are what makes life so beautiful to be a part of. So I do my best to listen and to sing the songs that I hear.

Where are you little one?

with your soft feet

curved inwards

from not yet taking steps

You slept on my chest

and I loved you

 

Where have you gone?

with your too-big hands

and hairless head

looking up at me

with a rock in your hands

“Heabby” you said

I was proud of your strength

 

Where have you run to?

with your first braids

you taught me the joy

of flowers seen again

for the first time

of bouncing a ball

and a walk on a bench

stomping out a rhythm

I delighted in your laugh

 

How high have you climbed?

with your giggle the color

Of sunshine sparkles

and not enough fear

as you smiled and let go

to fall into my arms

because no one had ever

dropped you

so you went up with

clumsy steps and grabbing hands

over and over

to fly again down to me

I marveled at your trust

and did my best to keep it

 

How tall have you grown?

way too big to sit by me

at your own little table

with a stone below your feet

because I had one too

grounded together

when your work was drawing

and we shared too many stories

of Ramona and Beazus

I loved you then too

 

And all of the other you-girls

that have walked, run and tumbled

with me through foam-pits

on grass and down sand hills

through my life as I tried to

keep up so I could

get to know you

and not miss you too much

as you moved on

 

to make space for the next

shining moment you are

that I won’t try to hold back

I will stand and support you

as long as my arms have strength

and my legs can hold me

but I will cry again

when you leave

and give thanks

that you were once here

at the same place

in the same time

with me

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