I had an extra hour before the puppet show began. The sky was dull and the clouds were thick. I parked my car and it started to rain. I pulled my journal out from under all of my to do's and began to write. I let every word find it's place on the page, arranged only by the order of it's release. Missed periods and commas, legible only to the heart that poured them out.
Soft rain fell on the window and I scanned the sky for an opening, an escape. I've been stuck. Stuck in the in between. Somewhere between yes and no. Fear and love. Missed and caught. And these words were my rope that connected all that once was and with all that will be.
I could see it, the faint lines of this place. I watched the birds dance from branch to branch, and I attached each word to their wings and watched as they flew into the clouds, into the fog, the dull sky with no doors. I told them to go, to fly past the unknown into the blue. And I watched as their distance grew and the words got smaller. I opened the window and listened to the birds as they recited them all back to me in song.
And I waited for a new day, the tiniest of light.
We woke to blue skies and expectant, spring air. His little feet ran into the house, caked with backyard mud and crocus petals.
And there in the sky, above a concrete driveway, hundreds of soft voices singing all at once.
"The sandhill cranes," He peeped as his hand slid into mine.
"They're coming home."
He leaned forward and held out his other hand, cupped softly around a winter moth he found on the garage floor.
"His wings are broken," He whispered.
He placed the moth inside a plastic box and slid it into his pocket, hopeful for some kind of moth miracle.
We piled into the car and made our way to St. Joe, to the beach, to the children's museum, to wherever the sky would lead us. And we drove under single clouds, hung delicately on the strings of new words, and we searched for the place we remembered.
The place with gluten-free, Swedish pancakes. The place with lingonberries and real cream.
And we found new friends. The kind that help us fly when our wings are broken, when the memories feel too strong and we forget that we are never alone, that our roots are deep, that this place that feels lost, is never gone. Just forgotten.
And we climbed as high as our hearts would take us, searching for the tiniest of lights, the faintest of memories, the ones we held onto.
The ones we left way up in the clouds, the ones with the broken wings.
And there are these moments, these memories that get dog eared, marked for some other purpose, held on and memorized for years, waiting for the blank page to release them.
For the birds to carry them back home.
Because sometimes the memories get stuck, distorted and weaved into our wings, making it hard to fly.
And his little hand held onto the broken wings in the box. And we waited for some kind of moth miracle.
And we laughed at the way it used to be, sure that the memory could no longer find us.
Through the panes of glass and open windows and the illusions we created while our wings still healed.
We remembered just who we were before we forgot, before the clouds covered the blue sky and the birds went silent.
And we held out for miracles, the kind that go around your heart while the days go up and down.
And we made new memories, the kind that don't get lost in black and white,
But live on forever in full color.
And somewhere, by the end of it all, a miracle. As seen only after you have let go, that the tiniest light remains.
Not someplace else, not in the going back, in the memory left dog eared in our hearts, the broken wings carried around in plastic boxes.
But there in the sky, up in the clouds, hung by a million tiny strings, all the stars in heaven reaching down to take our words, the ones we carried, the ones we gave away to the singing birds,
Just so that we might run free, back to the place we remembered.