Saturday, August 30, 2014

One Thing: The Color of the Sky

There are many things I love and miss about my childhood.

I wish I could re-create the surety I felt that the chrome window latches on the little triangular windows in my parents’ car doubled as water spigots. We must have been traveling. I must have been thirsty.

I wish I could get a handful of the suckers we were treated to after Suzuki festival concerts at Northrup Auditorium—they were rectangular, flat on one side and domed on the other—perfect for conforming to the roof of your mouth with only a little work. It was so hard to choose between butterscotch and orange. It still would be, unless I was in one of my lime moods.

I wish I could dance with a broom on the front porch, believing no one would see, because that is a wondrous freedom to feel. And to the neighbor boy who caught me—yes, that is exactly what I was doing. I lied to your face about it for years, claimed I was only sweeping, because I figured I could make my supreme dorkiness disappear if I denied it enough.

I wish I could lie in the grass or on the floor and daydream, with no hint of anxiety that I could/should/have to be doing something else.

I wish I could reclaim some of the hours I had long ago with paper and coloring books and crayons and markers—more daydreaming, plus endless paper worlds filled with color.

But when I was young, I thought the sky was blue. Every picture I colored had some variation of blue sky and white clouds, and only a small range of shades of blue, at that. And this makes me happy about the age I have gotten to: I have watched for many years, and I have seen the sky striped, dotted, scalloped. I have seen it gold, and wet-green, and purple, and salmon, and gray, and I have seen it pull the rest of the world into its light. Instead of always calling it blue, I have dared to name the color of the sky, myself. And because I dared, the sky has shown me endless worlds. Real ones. Just over our heads, all the time.

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