Nature's first green is gold, Her hardest hue to hold. Her early leafs a flower; But only so an hour. Then leaf subsides to leaf. So Eden sank to grief, So dawn goes down to day. Nothing gold can stay.Robert Frost
I'm walking through the halls at the high school, as we search for the room numbers on Nolan's schedule. We're attending parent-teacher conferences, and yet, I find myself being thrust into my own past.
We're suddenly heading down the stairwell, and I breathe in deeply, trying to fill my struggling lungs with air. But it's the scent, that lingers in my nose, that takes me right back. The stairwells smell exactly the same. Is it the cleaner they use? Or is it the tired cracks, in the aging concrete, that's trapped the smell of all of those years of trudging soles?
My eyes gaze along the walls, as I recall the names that used to go along with each classroom- "Look, there's Mr. Adair's class. My locker was right there, next to Danny Gnadt. So many girls wanted to share a locker with me that year. Ohhhh, and this was Mrs. Redlin's class, and the lines from the Robert Frost poem start whirling through my head. We read the "Outsiders," that first year in high school, and I remember the lasting impression it left on me- just like Mrs. Redlin. Her husky voice, lips painted in red, and the poodle-like ringlets creased into her hair.
As we turn the corner, it's Rick who asks about the name of the instructor who made us keep the "journal," and "Lord Melting," suddenly leaps into my head. The writing "commandments," the rules, we documented and prayed to never break in his presence again. His way of teaching us rules for writing, that really taught us habits like discipline, to prepare us for life.
I was 14 the first time I walked those floors, and how exactly did I suddenly become 48, with my own freshman son, suddenly gracing those same hallowed halls?
Its late the next day, and with Rick's busy schedule, I find myself driving to the clinic on my own. It's on the way back that I can't ignore the beckoning call of autumn's golden luster any longer. I'd brought my camera with just in case. I get out in an older neighborhood, I used to live near, where the houses have all been removed from the flood prone area.
I'm so drawn to the sun light, and the way it plays along the lower branches of the trees, this time of year. Gasp, pant, breathe. Walk, stumble, move.
Nothing gold, nothing gold.
I snap and snap. Walk and walk. Soaking it all in. This. Just this.
Thursday, October 15, 2015
nothing gold can stay
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