one summer day

Puffs of cotton candy, sticky sweet, are on my fingers. The air shimmers above the pavement. A bell signals the ride is about to start. Dangling, kicking feet. Squealing, blissful kids are lifted higher, higher until they touch the sky. I’m on the ground smiling, squinting into the sun remembering my nervous, nauseous stomach as rides turned, flipped and spun me around.

Glee everywhere, children racing to stand in line, I think of my childhood, of skipping toward my house and saying to no one, to everyone, “I’m happy! I want to stay nine forever!” My life unspooled on the sidewalk under my feet and I saw it was perfect, like only a child can see. Pink bubble gum perfect. I couldn’t ask for more.

Now. All grown up. With the many seasons of me. Overheated, summer glum Heidi. Looking forward to fall, fresh outlook Heidi. Life looks different. Smudged, good, restless. Life is presented to us in horizons, sprawling and boundary-less! The world is your oyster, at your feet. The great wide unknown. Oh, the anticipation! But, I’ve always liked life where I can see it. In nooks, in my hands, all around me.

The here-and-now serves me well. When asked where do you see yourself in 10 years? I shrug, with no answer. I’ll leave the visioning to someone else. I mark my calendar with schedules and birthdays and plans, a map of where I’m going each month. Since the age of nine my world has opened and narrowed and opened, more knowns than unknowns. I have priorities instead of dolls. I own another kind of happiness, one that is earned with growing up, and one I cherish. When I’m flattened I can count on the line of the horizon to buoy me, the glow of possibility and potential in an open sky. Hope is one of my favorite things.

I can’t be anything I want to be, but I can be something, someone who matters. Someone who is doing her best. And isn’t that all we can ask of ourselves, of anyone?

Today, today my life is here. Now. Eating a mini-donut. Riding a non-metaphorical rollercoaster. Giant pandas perched on shelves waiting to be won, the day stuffed with excitement and flavor and vendors calling out to “Come on over!” As the ride twirls and dips, and the clouds of candy dissolve into grit on my tongue, life is all around me. Imperfect and perfect.

swept up
in Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

I read an early review of this book and I was hooked. I had to read this book. As soon as it came out I downloaded it and I couldn’t put my e-reader down. The story, the writing, the suspense, Amy! – it’s one of the best thrillers I’ve ever read. I was so taken with the author’s writing I downloaded and devoured her previous books Sharp Objects and Dark Places. Her writing is sharp, clever and I could not get enough. I’m just disappointed I have to wait for the next novel.

7 thoughts on “one summer day

  1. tara pohlkotte

    i love this look at how even when the world looks different, that we still can find the happiness we were pursuing as children when everywhere was tinted by that bubble-gum pink. so beautiful. {also? super pumped about the book recommendations – i love me some books, and totally excited to have a recommendation from someone i trust their voice}. happy fall!xo

  2. Kerstin

    Glad you had a good time at the PNE 🙂 We only went there once and guess what – neither the kids nor my husband and I like going on non-metaphorical rollercoaster rides… so much for the PNE…
    My whole family – and especially me – likes going on metaphorical rides. I need the limitless horizon, the belief that something is out there even if I can’t see it and it gives me drive to move on and set new goals.
    I’m always thinking about 10 years ahead. If you asked me where I will be then, I would have a well thought-out and elaborate plan – but I could not tell you where I will be in 1 month… I guess sometimes it is better to live in the here and now and find your comfort there, that way you don’t get lost that easily…
    Thanks, my friend, for this wonderful post.

  3. Katie

    Heidi, this was such a treat to read; the perfect ending to my day. Beautiful, absolutely beautiful. I really connected with the line, “I can’t be anything I want to be, but I can be something, someone who matters.” Wow. So true.

    1. heidi Post author

      Thanks! I felt weird about this one. Although, I’m feeling weird about almost everything these days. So, thank you, my friend. I really appreciate it.

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