One of my favorite moments each week is taking Izzy to her music lesson. We arrive with time to spare and sometimes we walk to Starbucks for a quick after school snack.
She still likes to hold hands, my twelve year old girl, and this simple gesture takes me back through all the days of her life: remembering her as an infant, a toddler, a three year old clutching her tiny violin. How did her hand get so big and strong? How is it she chatters away about John Wilkes Booth while I am still trying to recall kissing her pumpkin cheeks and breathing her baby soft scent?
We walk and we talk. There are homeless people along the way. It is a helpless feeling to pass by such unfathomable sorrow. How did so much go so wrong? How? Sometimes I look into their faces, sometimes I don't. But either way I have them fixed in my mind, either way I wish I could go back through their lives and find the moment that would have made the difference, either way I wrestle with walking past fellow beings in irretrievable despair.
And then we are here, five minutes and eons away from the people on the street. We find a table and listen to two businessmen, emboldened by caffeine, assert what they wish they would've said in a meeting earlier that day. Izzy looks at me, wide eyed, as they are breaking emergency swear vials right and left. We smirk with the secret understanding emergency swear vials are to be reserved for the extinction of chocolate, holiday lines at the post office, and kids getting stung by scorpions: these guys don't know anything.
Lessons are starting. It's time to go.
Not everyone can pull off such an exit.
You need yellow boots.
And a dose of moxy.
We retrace our steps, ten feet from the people sitting, staring, a million miles away. It is a beautiful day: the elixir of life is in the air, the sky is soaring blue, the sun casts long shadows.
The journey is over. Izzy goes to her lesson; I go on my way. But these things stay with me--lovely, bemusing, and deeply troubling. I wonder if I can ever make enough of a difference someday.