We were walking on the beach at sunset. The sky was dusky. You broke off ahead with your brother. So fast. There is an end to the beach, I told myself. They will not disappear. But as your figures diminished and you became a pebble on the shoreline, a leaf on the trees of the cliff, the subtlest ripple in the water- I thought that maybe the beach had lied. That you could run on forever and I would never be able to catch up to you. In that moment, my distressed heart tried to break free from its stockade of ribs and rocket blast to you.
You, your brothers, your little sister have always been within reach. There have not been many moments when I've faced the great divide, worrying over the canyon I must traverse to find you. Fragile fish bones which littered rocky sand posed the question, "What if?"
In an instant, you whipped your head around as if you heard me call your name. But, I had only sung it in my head. You circled back- like a Labrador with a stick, happily bounding back to his owner.
I was a pebble on the shoreline, a leaf on the trees, the subtlest ripple in the water. You could not see the stitch in my brow- the troubled lines on my face.
You burst forth with unbridled joy- arms outstretched- running toward me.
I love you! I love you! I love you!
The flash of your smile slowed my breath and settled my heart.
With each step, you grew. And you grew. And you grew. Until you looked more like you.
Coming into focus.
The child I will always see. The girl that you are. The woman you will become.