Before it Was Gone
I turn the paper over and find this... musings on coming-of-age, loss, change. Somehow the very things she writes of in her own little world are the things of my world too. I swallow hard and my soul says to this twelve-year-old, "Yes, daughter, yes."
Here is what she wrote, in answer to the question someone put to her: What's the most important thing you learned this year? The woods she refers to are a place she has played with a certain set of friends for five years. Next year, the woods will still be there, but the friends won't be...
I learned that sometimes there isn't one answer I can
think of for this question. And I learned that Michaela
and Noah and Eli are not coming back next year (and
the rest will never come), and I learned that someday
I might want to go across the log and I learned that
you can't sun-cook with aluminum foil and an empty
orange juice bottle, wild mustard leaves, in the woods
and I learned that I keep trying to write about the
woods and I can't and I know even if we can go back
there with them it won't be the same. And I learned
that gardens and bridges and water catchers for plants
and building ziplines don't actually work or happen but
we do them anyway and I don't know why. Well, I do
actually, sort of. We do it because it's something to
do, but after we knew they weren't coming back it was
as if we were trying to do everything before it was gone
and I learned to teach cello and write villanelles and I
learned that sometimes answers are right in front of
you already and you just have to find them and I
learned that there are some things you can't stop...
even if you really, really want to.
Purple flower tree photo by L.L. Barkat. Poem by Sara. Used with permission.