I’m Asking You To Remember

Remember when we used to hide in the shade of blooming trees in early spring. Sunlight always came through in patches and we would peek upwards, one eye closed, trying to dodge its playful rays.

Remember when we used to skip across the street, counting the white streaks of the crosswalk and stepping solely on their safety. We’d giggle and look over at one another to see if the other misstepped.

Remember when splashing at the beach meant war but subsided to chasing out of the calm lull of water and into the warm sand, the sun beating on our shoulders and the air picking up the scent of sunscreen and sea salt to carry to us.

Remember when riding our bikes on empty streets turned into races and proclamations of greatness. Suddenly, nobody cared that the sun was setting. It didn’t matter if the day was over because it was well spent.

Remember when skipping stones was an Olympic sport. It was up there with highest swinger at the playground, fastest hopscotcher, and best kickball kicker.

Remember when we’d jump in piles of leaves under the row of trees that led up to and from the red brick school building. The bigger the pile the faster we threw ourselves at it. And for the little ones, we settled on kicking the leaves to spread them apart so we could see every last color.

Remember when the snow was to our small knees when it used to soak through our shoes and pants but we knew that meant it was deep enough to imprint ourselves in it and finally have wings. We’d get up in a hurry when we saw the first snowball and the shrieks that followed were always a good sign.

Remember when it was the little moments that made the day worth getting through. Everything was special because we paid more attention to the little details. Every moment meant something because it brought a smile to our lips. It didn’t matter if the day was coming to an end, that just meant coercing mom to let us have a sleepover or pinky promise that tomorrow we’d go to the park. And that small assurance was also an assurance to more great moments.

Things have changed. Moments are forgotten or given less attention. But they haven’t gotten any less beautiful. We’ve gotten distracted and society has tried hard to obstruct our vision. It’s burdened us with so many problems and moments of fear, uncertainty, and anxiety. But if we look, if we really look, then things haven’t changed all that much. The happy memorable details are still there. Things are still beautiful and bright. The kids know like we once knew. The kids look and see. And if nothing else, we should pause, look up, and try to do so too.

I’m a pro at spontaneous randomness but terrible at it when asked.

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