The other morning I looked out at our kind of busy street and really saw it for a second. I saw the brilliance of orange and yellow leaves...not just the construction sign indicating another day of the guys digging and blocking traffic. I saw the way the wind took the leaves for a moment and they did a brilliant dance before landing beneath the cars that always back up almost to our house during rush hour. I knew we needed to do something a little different, so after dropping off Anna at school, Ethan and I got on our sweatshirts.
As we kicked at leaves I watched the battle play out in front of me...that fight to see the beauty vs. the mundane, the contrast between seeing and seeing.
Maybe a friend needed just a few words of comfort on a rough day.
Maybe I needed to stop rushing and hold the door for someone who is convinced no one is polite anymore.
Maybe the obnoxious driver needed me to let them cut in front of me without incident, just because we all need mercy sometimes.
I will always, always remember this:
Back when I was in eighth grade, I had a pretty friend. I was not so much so, with my big perm and lack of make-up skills and overall nerdliness. I guess it was not so much that I was a bookworm (nothing wrong with that!) but also that I tended to be oversensitive and insecure, the type that cried easily and turned people off sometimes.
I tried to hide tears in the darkness as I walked up to my front door. At first I wondered what she had seen in me. Then I realized she must have seen something. And for years after that, as I stumbled through adolesence and mean kids at school and tears in the bathroom over cruel, heartless words by unthinking classmates, I always had those words to remember.
The little things do matter.
This is what I have to remember, on those days I only want to drown in me and all of my mental stuff.
And, all these years later:
Thank you, Denise.
|Ethan found quite possibly the ugliest leaf on |
our walk - but it was pretty to him.