Sunny, sixty-something degree weather today lead quickly to a back yard romp in our leaf piles with the Little One. While rolling about on autumn's colorful carpet (and momentarily pushing the fear of ticks from my mind) I was intoxicated by the Little One's laughter. She was in a state of complete abandon, the kind of enthusiastic surrender that only children experience. (After all, three-year-olds have no idea about Lyme Disease. Why should they be worried?)
Lots of changes are afoot in our lives. Some weigh heavily upon me. Others offer hope: a thin, bright line on the horizon. For me, all change is unsettling. Such is the nature of change, I guess.
But her laughter--that full-bellied, joyful noise, utterly devoid of self-consciousness--was an affirmation. It sounded like a promise. It sounded like the future. Not in a trite way; the future always holds a balance of joy and suffering. But her euphoria echoing off our newly stripped Maples rang out like a shot--clear and strong. Its very utterance the proof of days to come.
It is that future--the uncertain one--that promises. The Great Wide Open is exhilarating and terrifying. And we all have moments in our lives when we're able to see it--and how much we're at its mercy. But if we turn the prism just so, we can see the rainbow.
Catching our breath and pulling golden Maple leaves from our hair, the Little One sat up and hugged me. It was one of those moments that's now burned forever in my memory, a snapshot of an emotion.
Then she said, "Do we have to put all these leaves back in the trees?"
I felt a stinging in the corners of my eyes and a smile erupt across my face. "Do you think we could?" I asked.
"If we could fly, we could," she said.