Posted on | August 21, 2015 | No Comments
Tomorrow, my son will be six years old.
Six is when I got a baby brother, when I began kindergarten… when I started to formulate memories that stay with me even now. And as I watch my own child roll into himself, roll into six years old, I can’t help but wonder if we have reached some sort of changing. Some form of a switch where I begin my soft lit fade into “used to be” and he begins his brightly focused march of “will be one day.”
I don’t feel old.
I don’t feel like I’m much different from the me that I was back when I drove a beat up Ford Tempo around the streets of Greensboro, North Carolina, blaring hip hop music intertwined with Dave Matthews Band and the Indigo Girls. I don’t feel so far removed from line dancing Shania Twain at spring break, or folding notes in little shapes and slipping them into lockers. I don’t, I’m not, I refuse to be… old.
And yet I am.
When I watch my son slip his backpack on and shrug out of my hugs and kisses, I am older.
When I push the sign up sheet for school fundraisers across the table of my office, I feel the lines of time softening my face.
When I look around at the collection of memories that are mine and his and all those who have gone before me, I know that somehow, in some inexplicable way, I have become older. I have become the one who came before, the one who used to be the girl sneaking cigarettes at the football game… the one who now sneaks only a second soda or glass of wine as her biggest vice. I have become so far removed from the girl who drove with the windows down, with one arm out weaving the wind through and around her fingers. Those moments, those far away moments, where I held the wind in my hand… felt like they would last forever. I thought I’d be that girl forever, taming and turning and becoming the wind around me.
I can look down at my hands now and see the markings of time; they are not as brightly polished as they once were. There are scars and creases and whispers… reminders of days when the wind was not so kind. Reminders of days when the wind didn’t bend to my will, but struggled back, bending and bruising and marking me with time and experience. The wind is not always something to hold… sometimes, most times, the wind is not something to hold.
It is to breathe in, to dance in, to stand in with your arms spread wide, drinking in the tickle of time as it blows and changes the shape, the substance of who you are.
I used to think I held the wind in my hands, that I was the master of my own time and my own destiny.
But no. The wind is not to hold.
The wind is to set free. To watch. To witness.
And now it is my son’s turn to cup his hands and dream. To feel the rush around his fingers and to believe, wholeheartedly, that one day… maybe…
He will hold the wind.