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Friday, March 11, 2016

Red lips and Ribbons

       You're just inside the in-between. There but not there. So you stand on the line steady your feet and feel your way wearing red lips and ribbons.  You breathe deep and look to the side from where you came knowing the ribbon should really be tucked in the back of your little girl drawer, but you’re not ready for that.  This is okay. Don’t be ready for that.
     Some run ahead on the line so fast never missing a step and you stand here covered in the wake of their dust… but you blow it off, pop those red lips, and touch the ribbon in your hair. 
     I get close enough to see you standing wobbly on the line and I try to remember… but in the remembering what I really want to do is run to the line and knock you off.  I want to push you back onto the playground where little boys and girls live.
     It’s a stupid naïve thought. I know this and you would not stay there even if I did because you can’t stay there, no one can stay there…and yet…I wish you could and I think it all the same.  Just for a little while longer, Please!  Just a little while longer.
     But you climb back up and brush off the dirt determined to take back your place in the line because it’s your time and you have to walk it whether you are ready or not…so...
     "Stop looking at me."
     "You're in my way. Move."
     "Why are you talking to me?  You don’t know me."
     "Who are you anyway?"
      The person asking the last question suddenly falls in beside me.  “Me?" I ask. " I'm just a person trying to find my way," I say,  "same as you." I take another step. "I'm just walkin’ the line." 
     "You don't look like you belong here." He said.
     " I know." I reply. "Sometimes I feel like I don't belong here either." We walk a beat. "But I'm doing it. Doing it again, I should say. But it feels really different this time. It's been awhile. This feels like a foreign land."
     There is a few moments of quiet between us, then I point and say, "I was way up there, you know. Almost to the very end of this road." I pause a moment, "And then I got moved back here with you guys." Another pause. "This is hard for me too. I’m trippin' and brushin’ myself off  just like you." I pause again. "But this time...I can't even remember having a hair ribbon."
     “And you..." I say as another walks up and falls into the rhythm of our pace, "You have the attitude...the pretty face... you're so cool just chillin'."
     He smiles and winks in agreement. 
     "Wake up!”  I shout.  "Stop acting like a child and thinking you're so cute it's all that matters."
     He stiffens. "You're not that cute," I tell him. “And there is a quarter-horse inside you and I know you know it. I know you feel it stirring."
     He gives me a puzzled yet knowing look.
     "You were born to run." I tell him, "So step it up. Impress me!"
      He doesn't like my words so his long legs stretch his stride but I know that he is pondering our conversation.
     There is pushing and shoving around me now as this group I walk with struggle to find their place in a herd of, "Children No More.”
     Not quite steady on their feet but want so much to find their way with strength and grace.  I want to believe that when they bloom they will take our breath away and bring tears to our eyes. 
     Until then...I hope they know how amazing they are.  How fascinating.  How beautiful.   
     So let me walk this line with you and see you wear red lips and ribbons just a little bit longer.
     Real life comes soon enough.