A few months ago I was lying next to The Boy in bed. It was one of those lazy afternoons, sunny and pleasantly cool. A plane droned by overhead, and a breeze carried the scent of trees through our window. Without really meaning to I started to cry.
“What’s wrong?” The Boy asked me. I didn’t know what to say. Something about the smell of trees, and the sound of the plane, and my head resting on his shoulder… I was suddenly nineteen, and lying on his bed in his mother’s house on a summer afternoon. And it was one of those sweet memories that makes you a little sad, because you can never go back.
The Boy’s mother sold her house today. We knew this was coming, and it was definitely past due. It’s time for everyone to keep growing up and figuring things out, and there are other places to do those things now. We had the wedding in that yard, and it was a great way to say goodbye. But today I’m sad, because it was such a special place for me, so inextricably tied to the ecstasy, and sorrow, and wonder, and all those other feelings you can’t quite name but have something to do with waking up one morning and realizing you’re not a kid anymore, but not quite an adult yet either. It’s all rather impossible to explain, but I know that you know, because we all have places like these. And no matter how right or how just, it’s never so easy to leave them behind for good.
I don’t know anything about the new family that will be moving in, but I hope they have a little boy. I hope he walks out his back doors one morning, and realizes he has a yard the size of the whole world. I hope he explores it, really explores it, so that he comes to know it in all its intimacies. I hope he touches each tree and each rock with the confidence that they are his trees, and his rocks. I hope he sees the magic, and rules wisely over his kingdom.
And I hope he meets a little girl. I hope he does not listen when she tries to act tougher than she is, and holds her hand anyway. I hope he sees through all her little cracks, and reminds her that sometimes there is magic, if only you know where to look. I hope he takes her around, and shows her all his trees, and rocks, and blades of grass, and I hope he is kind enough to share them with her. I hope that they are best friends, and maybe a little more. Maybe a lot more. More than they can ever say.
The Boy and I have well and truly grown up now, and our life could not be any more perfect. But I just hope that while our adventure starts a new chapter, someone somewhere is waking up in that house, with the scent of trees, and the drone of a plane overhead, and the promise of magic in the air.
Photo by Katch Silva.