Friday, April 2, 2010

Tumble Any Second

At around nine o'clock tonight, Dad and I took a short stroll down my street. His idea. There aren't any streetlights in my neighborhood so it's very dark. I thought, a river of ink. At times it was hard to distinguish between the road and bushes in my neighbor's yard.

Dad and I walked to the cul-de-sac, passed the Doolittle's house, and circled back. We chatted about the stars, the darkness, how his legs seem weak. At one point I grabbed his hand because he was so wobbly. Lately it seems he might fall right over, tumble, especially if a gust of wind kicks up. Thankfully no wind tonight, just soft, still air.

Walking with my father, I found myself alternating between my nine year old girl-self and my all grown up woman-self. My chest is full up with joy, tears, mystery, this being alive.

This is the last stanza of a beautiful poem by Naomi Shihab Nye. I probably should give you the whole poem because it's so good. I'll do that another time. But for now, I love this last part.

Walk around feeling like a leaf.

Know you could tumble any second.

Then decide what to do with your time.

..from The Art of Disappearing

[a poem by Naomi Shihab Nye]

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