Sometimes

Sometimes, when the sun is in just the right spot,
It’s light filters through the leaves
Swaying in a gentle breeze
In the same way it did when I was young.
 
I often wish to return to the past.
Looking back into memory I see
Endless summer days, trips to the coast,
Heroic deeds in the woods behind my house.
 
I see friends with dreams as big as mine.
Together we raced through life,
Yet we were aware of every passing moment
Since we’d seen fewer of them.
 
The honey glow of those times beckons,
Taunting me with happy, carefree days
While hidden beneath the floorboards
Fear awaits my return.
 
Nostalgia’s embrace causes me to forget.
They were happy days, they were sad days,
And for every childhood dream
A nightmare followed in its footsteps.
 
On the news, they told us St. Helens was active again.
For weeks I lay awake at night,
Terrified of the impending ash cloud
I knew would smother me when she blew.
 
Then one day I saw it on the news—
A smoking crater on the glowing television screen
Tiny, minuscule—in no way a danger to me.
From that moment on I was not scared of volcanoes
 
But there were others lurking in the shadows.
I saw a tree while camping once
That looked like it had the face of a witch
Which meant, of course, that I was doomed.
 
When two dogs emerged, teeth bared and snarling,
From the woods by my house
And chased me, screaming, inside to my mother
I realized that size matters—and I was small.
 
Earth does not feel us.
It is not aware of our feet scurrying about its surface.
When a storm descends in whirling masses from the sky
The air cannot feel the homes it tears to splinters.
 
A tidal wave, thrown ashore by tremors in the deep,
Cannot see those caught within, beaten and drowned.
Yet still we sit by the ocean
And wonder at the secrets of its depths.
 
Fear is the destroyer of will.
Storms will come whether we fear them or not.
Mountains will crumble, rivers will flood,
Time will pass as it always does.
 
So as the sun filters through swaying leaves
In much the same way as it did when I was young
I must not think of the past, for it is gone,
Nor of the future, for it may not be,
 
But the warmth on my skin,
The caresses of the wind on my cheek
A thousand sensations of the here and now
I must savor ere they fade into memory.  

Photo by George Desipris on Pexels

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