Twenty-three days of sunshine and nights of rain and eyes that crinkle above wide smiles. Twenty-three picnics on the lawn, footraces, cart-wheels, twenty-three summersaults that go awry. Scraped knees and bandaged elbows, sticks and stones and rosebush thorns. Loud laughter and raised eyebrows, twenty-three dismissive glances and tears left unshed.
Twenty-three plans unmade and to-do lists undone, empty freeways late at night, twenty-three forked roads that beckon, embolden, bewilder. Twenty-three caustic comments and spontaneous hugs, twenty-three rejoinders and amused, knowing glances shared across a crowded room.
Twenty-three moving boxes and storage sheds and new houses that ultimately became homes, twenty-three friends found and lost and found again, twenty-three notes written in a left-handed scrawl. Twenty-three rain puddles and detours, delicate bubbles and funny faces, twenty-three questions with no answers. Twenty-three red bandannas and blue nail polish and hair perpetually, defiantly uncombed. Twenty-three pairs of flip-flops for long, narrow feet, and fuzzy socks for cold tiled floors.
Twenty-three radio stations and albums of alternative rock and tapes of Pukhtu songs. Twenty-three prayers and regrets, twenty-three words left unsaid and words said too easily. Twenty-three phone calls unanswered and letters unsent and gestures unacknowledged. Twenty-three rebellions and road trips, glossy photographs and bills blithely left unpaid. Secrets kept, secrets untold, voices heard and ignored and resisted.
Twenty-three drawings scattered about the room – artistic abilities untouched, untapped, abandoned for years. Twenty-three pairs of black pants and red shoes and fringed scarves that sparkle in the sunlight. Yellow-lensed sunglasses and rolling green hills and waves of fog, blinding white.
Twenty-three eucalyptus trees and California poppies and twenty-three midnight games of hide-and-seek on the vast, green lawn. Twenty-three libraries housing endless stacks and shelves of books, coffeehouses offering hot chocolate and cushioned chairs, Austrian bakeries with mosaic-tiled courtyards glittering in the afternoon. Twenty-three dialects from twenty-three villages, and the simple, steady, strong roots of family heritage.
Twenty-three triumphs and failures and long, numbing nights that bleed into glorious dawns.
[p.s. Look! The Bean posted an awesome entry all about me. I love it.]