I know there’s a saying about missing the forest for the trees or the trees for the forest or something. I never was much good at those sayings. And behind the clever little words is supposed to be this incredibly profound meaning… that someone has summed up in a few clever little words. Anyway, I think I’m doing it. I am missing the forest for the trees this time. I’m looking and waiting and waiting some more for this life to start. And I’m working around and running smack into obstacles. Trees. Life. And I find myself wishing these days away… so I can get to the forest. Instead of seeing that this IS the forest. With these beautiful trees. Life. And I’m in it. It’s here. Around me. Bigger and taller than I’d imagined. Softer and harder. With little winding paths. And fog and branches so that sometimes, it’s a little unclear… and scratchy. Wow. This is the forest.
I didn’t expect everything to be swirling around me like this. And it feels like I’m walking on air, but not in the good way. In the, my feet aren’t planted and set in a direction way. And it feels like it’s been this way for so long, I don’t remember what it was like to be anchored. To fold my clothes and put them in a drawer. To pull a book off my bookshelf. To use my own dishes. I don’t have routine or the subtle comfort of it. Short term has evolved into long term. I am looking for the magic in uncertainty. For the beauty in wondering. Maybe it’s in a place called tomorrow. Just on the other side of tonight.
So I went here today… Eastertime, when I was little. It consisted of a new dress. Pastel in color. With a scratchy netting under the skirt that made it poof out and twirly. New black patent leather shoes. Very shiny. New ruffled socks. (ruffles make scrawny bony legs look scrawnier and bonier, by the way). A new comb for my hair that had a ribbon or bow sewn to the front. An Easter basket with a chocolate bunny (mine was white chocolate because I was Miss odd man out even then), jelly beans, Peeps, Malted Egg-shaped candies that you could use for lipstick when you lick them. A slinky. A record album. Bubbles. And sometimes coloring books and a small pack of crayons. There was a wonderful dinner after church. The house smelled good. Mom wore an apron over her dress. Sometimes, I have to look for these memories, past the clamor and chaos. But they’re there. And worth the trip.
In a dream two nights ago, my dad called me. On the phone. He wanted me to check in on my mom, he was worried about her. But the sound of his voice calmed me even in my sleep. He must’ve known how much I would need him today. In the chaos. Under attack. I miss his hand on my shoulder. I miss knowing there was one person on this earth who was always on my side, even before he heard it. There he was.