Dust bunny snow is falling outside. Large flakes gently floating in the air like dust bunnies when you sweep. I stare at the computer screen watching nature’s own YouTube reflect on the computer screen. What hand has reached into the pool and stirred such homesickness within my heart. I will confess that this writing is unabashedly selfish. I am homesick for what something, someone I met for only an hour or so. She has been my internet photo. Her name is Zoey and she is my great niece. After we met for the first and last time, I wrote this letter to Zoey. This morning I plundered through my journal and found the writing. Today I am sending her letter into cyber space where there is no time, everything is now. It will be safe there, free from the untimely demise of hard drives and unintended deleted files. The letter, her memory and my heart can dance in the timelessness of space forever. And who knows, perhaps sooner rather than later, I will have the chance to read the letter to her myself, with my own voice. May dust bunny snow fall upon you today and remind you to look around and hug those close and far away. Consider yourself so hugged.
Somewhere on Interstate 40 in northwest Arkansas I left my heart. Only seven days had passed and I still find myself musing about the night we met. Did you know I wore that same T-shirt to bed that night, complete with your drool and unwanted milk you gifted me. Somewhere on Interstate 40 in northwest Arkansas I felt the kick in my heart when I realized I would never get to hold you like that again. Your tiny body, squishy and soft like a plush toy, recognizing a stranger's hands, touch and smell became rigid.
What do your eyes see little Zoey? Am I just an unfamiliar shape or can you distinguish faces and mine was not one you knew? Did you know that I had never held a baby before? I know how to hold puppies and kittens and at night I am a pillow for a very timid cat. My fingers can fly on a computer key board, they even played the piano, and my handshake has made more than one man wince. But I do not know how to hold you Zoey. I know puppies like a clock on their first night from their mama, it reminds them of her heart beat. I will place your heart against mine and introduce myself. Hello Zoey, I am your great aunt, Beth. Namaste Zoey. I bow to you. My spirit, my heart honors you.
What wonders await you Zoey. There are so many textures, colors, sounds and smells, find your favorite and bask in it but do not exclude the others. Know the horizon is your playpen, the breath of God makes the wheat fields dance and the birds await to accompany your songs. Know the clouds are your personal Etch-A-Sketch and the rain is an outdoor shower and pool so find the mud and be cleansed. The grass will be your carpet to feed your play animals and scratch your back, so be sure to roll and wiggle.
The sun will be your angel by day so fear not your shadow. The moon will give rest to the sun, and watch you by night even when it is but a sliver. The moon and sun dance Zoey – take your cue from them. You cannot see the sun or light in the night Zoey but remember the dance. Good dance partners merge as one and you cannot tell them apart. That's how the sun and moon dance so fear not the floor beneath your bed, the dance will turn the sun quickly to shine upon you once again. Practice your numbers counting the stars in the sky and shells on the beach. Learn your colors from the flowers, sunsets and sunrises and the hues of a stormy cloud. Do not fear the thunder, it is but me clapping my hands in joy, telling you I'm over here if you want to sit in my lap or lay beside me for a while.
People will marvel at your talents Zoey and tell you how good you are at this or that. And you will be - but the choice is yours. Learn to hear your heart, the one that is beating next to mine and mine next to yours. Learn your rhythm from that beat. Find what makes you laugh and do that as often as you can. Stay close to what makes you feel butterflies in your stomach but know the joy of just being, needing not the highs and fearing not the lows. Learn to hike the hills and forest trails so you are comfortable when your path is steep and uncertain. Trust your footing and your balance even when walking on asphalt or traveling a different path. Learn to pause and listen. Learn to hear your thoughts. Learn the beauty and power of words and feel the scrich of the pen moving on paper as you write your dreams. Finally, my little squishy great niece, a person, a gift, my prayer is that one day this letter, this memory may be a bookmark in your favorite book. Hello Zoey, hello to all you will be.
(also posted on my blog)