Friday, September 24, 2010

rear view

I'm moving at school zone speed but positively hurtling through space relative to the squirrel I almost squish.

He darts in front of my wheels, too late for me to brake. With bated breath I look back through the rear view mirror. Road clean. I'm relieved. I don't really want to author road kill today.

Around the next corner, a whorl of leaves rise up in the middle of the road, levitating on an invisible curlicued breath. A pocket-sized petal of wind. I drive right through it, scattering the leafy dance into regular randomness.

In my rear view, I see the individual leaves grounded, rustling in my wake. Gravity would have gotten them eventually. I know this. But I feel responsible for breaking that spell.

At home, Ruthie is down for a nap. I'm moving through the house, cleaning this, picking up that. Eliza is paging through books. Now she's hopping on the living room carpet. Now she pads off to her room.

I watch her go in my rear view. I stop. Turn off my motor and follow her into her room.

She's arranging her stuffed animals in her bed -- guests for dinner. I join her. Be the lion. We play.

I take slow, deep breaths of her magic, feeling sure and alive in this space.