Pieces of white froth rain down on my sun-kissed shoulders.
My daughter’s hair collects fine particles of nature’s love in her soft, reddish brown curls.
I inhale naturally, wanting to breathe in the beauty and fill not only my lungs but my heart too with these radiant, tiny clouds that glow from sunlight dripping through the green-covered tree branches.
My tired soul perks up and my step becomes bouncy.
Overhead, the clouds fill with ominous grey hues, yet tender rays of light still tenaciously shine past them.
We are quiet.
I listen to the crunch, crunch, crunch of gravel and the gentle words from my precious child’s lips.
She points her finger at the wonder that surrounds us. She outstretches her arms, trying to grasp these seemingly downy fragments of falling sky in her small, open palms.
Her heart opens easily to beauty and awe. Mine has learned through painful hardship to close and conceal, like the falsely protecting shells of crustaceans stepping sideways in khaki sand.
My love does not always show on my face as it does on hers. Sometimes it’s buried within an aching breast and camouflaged by a grumpy, serious expression.
I am filled with love.
As the white froth rains down on my body, my spirit lifts high and I feel the weight of my mortal armor fall onto the gravel crunching beneath the rubber soles of my neon tennis shoes.
I look at this smiling face, seated in her stroller and craning up to meet my own. I smile back, I grasp her hand and I walk on with the contrasted and coupled sensitive awareness of both fragile devastation and sheer, raw grace melded together, polar opposites steadily riding together on stormy clouds with sunshine peeking through.
Admittedly, though, I sometimes forget this constant, haunting marriage of life’s grief and joy until the rainbow shows, clear and obvious.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Renée Picard
Photos: Author’s own; Flickr