Late at night, just as the last inclement cloud of worry breezes past my head, they come.
The tender knocks on a closed storm door, their tiny heads of thought just barely reaching the four square window, they come.
These words, the frolicking children, banging pots and pans, opening and closing drawers as I try to find my rest, they come.
In the swirl of dream and wonder, heaven kisses my cheek, setting every word free, falling from my once closed ears, parachuting from bedposts, free falling onto hardwood planks, chasing nightlight shadows.
And I listen to them giggle and tell story after story; poem, verb, prose, preposition. And they taunt me with waves of surrender, directing me to open journals, reaching for ink stained pens, until obedience, once and for all pulls the covers from under my chin.
And my hand meets the page on bathroom floor rugs and closet lit hallways as these children, these words with feet, find their place between the blank, blue line guardrails of notebook cities.
There are all of these places that wait to be discovered, wait to feel our feet run open and wide, chasing the shadows back underground. And something waits for me to release it, the paper butterflies and one winged birds, waiting patiently for the tiny hands of children to set them free.
So, I make a wide net of courage and hope and stitch everything I know inside of it and wait for the very moment when these new sets of eyes will ask me just what's inside.
This Very first, the words set. This. Very. First. Art Camp. And 26 eyes, fingers, toes and hearts. Their Art Camp. Set between pastures of stops and starts, this ways and thats. And I open every part, every closed door hinged, locked and painted shut. And wait for the wonder and awe these small open hands will paint inside them.
We took the long way home. We turned onto roads that had never once felt our feet run. We pulled onto green patchy pavement and closed doors and listened for thunder over a new favorite that felt like magic each time we pressed repeat....
I dreamt a trail up to the sky,
and my brothers built propellers
just to see how far they'd fly.....
And we bent down low to see just what a sunflower looks like from underneath. And there were traces of strawberries in his kiss. And one petal plucked. He loves me. He loves me not. This way. Now that. Door opened. Door closed.
And our shoes fell from our feet and his toes touched mine. And we rolled to our side to keep the sun from our eyes. And clouds of awe and wonder split open between spells of light and relapse.
We let the mud fill each crack on the bottom of our sometimes shoes and we waved to the sun our very best hello. Their heads peered out from behind the glass, waiting for exploration to define them.
Wonder and awe. Wonder and awe. Left. Then right. Stop. Now, go. He loves me. He loves me not. And we watched as the sky emptied itself into rivers of orange and translucent gold creeks. Wonder. Awe.
And they each nodded their head as I tried to crawl through the words. Their poetry. Their prose. Each golden head nodding as I sat in the light and waited for the clouds to reach the other side of the street. But they took their time, opening and folding, touching each sunflower head with their light and storm. Wonder. Awe.
So we travelled through heart shaped holes and found ourselves on the other side, this place where fields of sunflowers show up unexpected, where words like, This Very First, are met with roads never travelled before, roads waiting for exploration to be the paper banner beginning.
So we kneel down and mark a line in the dust of this day. On your mark. And our small words tumble off bent petals. Get set. And we race to the other side, the place left unexplored, the place that waits for us in all of this wonder and awe. Go.
Sometimes, just as the day lays down, finding it's rest between dusk and night, they come.
Door opened. Door closed. Running through fields of golden light, brushing past the broken leaves and wild weeds grown past shoulders and thighs. They come.
And it feels like the start of something beautiful.