I started a story today when I was walking after I ran. I mean to say that I ran and I was cooling down by walking the rest of the way home. I wrote the beginning of this story in my head. The story is about my dad. The bit I have written (in my head) goes like this:
I bend slightly at the waist, leaning over to pull the seeds from the ornamental grass that tickles my leg as I walk past. I am out of breath. I have been running. I have exhausted my senses with the morning air, too full and refreshing to be contained within my lungs or within my mind even. I hold the grains in my hand for a moment and I think— this is cliche but I think it anyway—time is like these grains, slipping between my fingers. One by one the days cease to be. They each have their own destiny. One seed, one day, could fall in the soil and be reborn into beauty and rejuvenation. Another of either could fall onto the cement and never become anything at all. Still another could start to grow only to be unearthed by an animal or a jealous lover. That seed, that day, began but was destroyed. I think—and this is cliche, too—that I will drop every grain but I will never get them back. I will let each one slip through. I will not have a second chance. I will not gather another handful of seed-days.
My parents have released more than half of their seed-days. They are rightfully beginning to grasp tighter to the seed-days they have left. I think their hands may be getting tired of squeezing so tightly to those seeds. Those days slip faster and faster. I think today, especially about my dad’s days. He turned 62 on the first of this month. I think about his days because a couple of years ago, he dropped several of his seeds in a quick torrent. I do not know what he was thinking, but he opened his palm and just let them slide out. I think, he will never retrieve those seeds. The wind has long blown them away. Words like wind blew from the doctor’s mouth. Congestive. Heart. Failure. Hearts failing cannot be good. I knew that. I know that. We all do. We celebrate the few seeds he still holds with a cake and a candle. We hope maybe those few seeds he still holds will fall slower and with more purpose than those coming before them. We hope his hand remains clenched around them, letting them out one by one, slowly releasing the seed-days onto the ground. Those that land on the ground grow and are reborn. Let beauty grow.
I walk along listening. To the breeze blowing the leaves against each other. To my feet striking the path. To the seeds spilling from my hand. To my tears sliding down my face. I smell joy in the air. But I know that reality lurks behind the scent.
That is it. That is all of the story I have so far. Maybe that is all of the story. I am not sure why I am still wide awake, but I know I need to go home to sleep because my days this week are more than full. I know that my seed-days are rich and full. But I know I miss conversations with friends. I miss leisure time. I miss living in the slow way I usually live. In response, I moved my comps to August to buy some time. Tomorrow, I am meeting with Debbie to figure it all out. And I mean all of it. I expect answers. I expect miracles. Maybe that is the end of the story: I expect miracles. I expect answers.