Monday, September 20, 2010

Beginnings and Endings

A fine, almost imperceptible, veil exists between some beginnings and endings. A slight shift here, a leaf dancing on the nuanced edge of the wind there.

Then, others present boldly, loudly, waving and flailing their arms, the moment seems to scream, "Here I am! See me!"

As if he had a bold Sharpie in hand, Henry marked a clear line between this school year and the last. Last year his pudgy, full cheek would press into mine as he attempted to morph us into one, cleaving and willing himself into me to ensure that when I left, he would too. This morning, Henry, in his second week of school, informed that he would like to continue to walk into school by himself. He is four. I said yes.

We got out of the car and he told me to stop. So I said, "I love you. Have a good day". I wondered if he could hear my heart, which said something that differed just a smidge,

Don't go. Come put your cheek to mine and let me inhale you. Let me lock your essence into my lungs...

I watched him wind down the brick-lined path.
Out of our moment and into another. He did not turn. He did not need to turn. He had it. He got it. He owned it. His moment. One folding into the next.


As my seconds passed and morphed into the next now, I reflected on the bold swagger of this particular beginning with Henry and mourned the end of the end. I drove away from school and toward here. I wound down the road and passed a small cemetery, one I pass every day on the way to and from school.

This morning, a woman stood at a grave sight with her head bowed reverentially. No fresh dirt, damp with the morning dew. No black clothes. Just the sun on a beautiful autumnal morning. And a long-standing tomb stone, cloaked by ancient grass and her. She stood with her thoughts and memories.

I cried for her and her loss and for her gains. I cried. I cried for my own beginnings and endings. And I remembered with dizzying clarity: they are the same. Some bold, some tenacious, some insidious and others crazy. But they are all the same, leading me down the hobbled, smooth, winding, straight path to now.