I suppose it’s inevitable.
That which was once vivid and tangible will be morphed into a soft focused shadow. The reality of today will be reduced to a flash of an image, a feeling, or a smell that you can’t quite conjure all the way.
Sometimes I wish I could lay out my collection of childhood memories in a long line. Perhaps seeing them end to end would allow me to fill in the in between. Every so often an in between is given to me, by a friend or family member. Mostly though, they are held in my mind’s eye— pieces of shadows. Many of the memories are happy, at times they are fearful or sad— rarely are they mundane. The mundane seems to have dissipated into the sands at the bottom of the hourglass.
I watch my three children in a peak of their charmed childhood. Chomping on their silver spoons. These formative years. The foundation for the rest of their lives. Gaining material for their future therapy sessions.
I watch them twirl in the sparkle of their blessings, and I wonder how they will feel about it all when they are grown. When the desire for independence loses its freedom and the responsibility has been transferred to heavy shoulders. Will it all someday turn to shadow for them too?
I suppose it’s inevitable.
It’s impossible to remember it all. I hear their frontal lobes do not fully form until around the age of 25. I was about that old when I began to realize how much I missed— home.
I learned to wish that I hadn’t been in such a hurry to leave my parents. I wish I could have stayed there longer, safely wrapped up in their covering for even a minute more.
A similar covering I now cast over my children. They play under it like that huge parachute we used to have in gym class. All at once lifting it high to catch the air as we pulled it back down again over our heads in a colorful, floating dome, filling it with our high- pitched giggles.
I feel as if my job has become to patch holes that appear in the fabric. Holes that happen just by the wearing of time, and holes that are deliberately punctured into it by the world. I mend it with my words and my prayers and threads of sheer hopes that somehow the fabric will be made whole once more and they will be safe from.. the shadows?
With wide innocent eyes they seek to make sense of the world around them. I throw my covering before them to filter what they see. Hear. Do. Say.
I suppose in doing that, I myself cast a shadow.
Will it become a shadow for me too? When I remember back to these long days and short nights, will it lose all colors with the passage of time?
I want to remember these days in full color. Lit up in full brightness.
I am well aware that there can’t be shadows without light. I just see so much light these days. I chase it. Sit in it. Push my children into it as often as I can, and I dread the impending shadows.
I am also aware that I am not the one that spoke light being. Slicing the darkness with a word. The same light that bounces off of the tops of my children’s heads.
I suppose that even If it is all destined to turn to shadows, and all that is left is the muted, pale remnants of what was. I think, just maybe I will remember just how bright the light must have been.