Bits of the Aftermath

Bits of the aftermathWhen I was in elementary school, there was a fire.  Our house burned down completely.  All that was left was a pile of ruble and some bits of the room in the back of the house where the cellar was.

It was the creepy part of the house actually.  The part of the house we were afraid of as kids.

I believe I was in 1st grade when this happened.  We lost everything.

I have mixed, random memories of this event.  Well, I was in school when it happened but I do have memories of my grandparents picking us up from school and telling us that we no longer had a home; That we would all be staying with them for a while.

They drove us by the house to prove it, and as I watched in awe as the black smoke danced and twirled its way up into the clear blue sky, I remember wondering where our dog Roger was.

Roger didn’t make it.  My memories of that dog are few, but the memory encompassing the upset of that discovery is vivid. I also remember that we had named him Roger because we loved Roger Rabbit.

My grandparents house had a small building next to it the size of a shed.  This building contained an open room with a bed on one side and a bathroom on the other side of it.  This is where we stayed after the house burned down.  All 7 of us.

It’s weird to think of that now.  How we all crammed in that little space together and coexisted there for that time.  When you’re a kid, things like that can seem like an adventure.  Like a camping trip.  Something new and out of the ordinary.  That’s a good thing, the blissful ignorance of childhood.

Some nice people in the town collected money and everyone pitched in to buy us a mobile home.  They placed it on the land that was previously adorned with our house.  We lived there, all 7 of us, for a couple of years until my parents purchased a new home closer to where my dad worked.

When I returned to school, I walked into my classroom and was greeted by compassion and empathy.  My desk was surrounded by bags full of toys and clothes.  Everyone had pitched in to give us anything they could.  Everyone was eager to help.

I remember standing there in shock and unable to move.  I was so overwhelmed that I burst into tears. I was surrounded and attacked with hugs.  It was my first lesson for a lot of things.  Compassion, empathy, sympathy, sorrow, loss, unity, sincere thankfulness…and hope.

The remaining ruble of what once was our home became a playground for us.  We would climb the bits of brick and shout from atop the aftermath of an event that had surely caused my parents great heartache.

To us, the ruble and brick was a castle.  A great prop to an imaginary kingdom.  We could be princesses in that castle.  We could be kings.  We could be strong, brave knights.

The bit of aftermath was a great fortress too.  We could hide from our imaginary enemies.  We could climb to the highest part of the fortress and proclaim that we had conquered it.  We could state that we had won.

With the bits of the aftermath, we could be anything.  As long as we could dream and laugh and play.

Time later concealed the remains of those bits of aftermath.  Eventually, grass and earth covered the ruble and created a small hill.  The slate of land was clean and fresh again.  Renewed for a new beginning.

I hope to never forget that.


Possibility is Endless

Possibility is EndlessThis town is slush.  The snowstorm brought several inches of snow last week and then came the rain.  On my drive the other day, everything was a haze.

When rain and warmer temps met with the snow, a foggy steam-like mist was created.

I looked across an open field, and couldn’t tell the difference between sky and land.  The colors matched perfectly and everything in between land and sky was masked by this haze.

It was like a picture of space, only everything was white, and of course, there were no stars.  It looked as if it was endless and infinite.

It made me feel like possibility itself really is endless.

I’m not sure I’ve ever seen such a thing before.  What I mean is, I’ve never looked out my window in this state and not seen an array of color.

Or maybe, I just wasn’t ready to pay attention to those things before.

The route to my moms place from here takes us by a wind farm.  There are giant poles cemented in the fields that stretch for miles and miles.  Blades that spin like a helicopters propellers on the front of each one.

I couldn’t even see those through this haze.  Those giant, man-made industrial looking creations.  Planted in farmland, sprouting up as far as the eye can see, like giant flowers; Massive, colorless pin wheels made of steel.

It made me feel like we really know how to take away from what is natural and beautiful in this world.

Right now, this town is slush.  My brain is mush from the gray and white, the blandness of my view from the window.  But, I’m still grateful to be here.

To be in this town of slush, with this brain of mush, in this state of farm-land and giant, steel pin wheels.  To have seen sky blend with land.  To feel like possibility is endless.