The wind BLEW on Monday. It reminded me of the picture book (The Wind Blew) by Pat Hutchins. The night before, recycling bins all up and down our street gave up their contents to the howling gales. Cans, plastic lids and newspapers shuffled and tap danced up and down the sidewalks all night long.
On Monday, the sky was bright. The sun shone. So we, D and I, took Little Blue Bunny to the playground for an ordinary windy day adventure.
UNTIL...I, known as Nana, suddenly felt years younger than I am and tried to dismount the climbing tower via the monkey bars. I landed on my face. For a second, I worried that my glasses had been crunched. No, they were fine. Then, I worried that my nose was going to bleed. No, that didn't happen either. I managed to pick myself up and sniffling, just a little because of the shock, I found that D had not noticed my clumsy fall - not at all. Good grief. I was relieved and at the same time disappointed. I FELL DOWN. HARD. FROM A GREAT (not) HEIGHT! And it HURT! and no one noticed at all.
I have to admit that I have been feeling ever so slightly sorry for myself ever since. I grieve for a younger self who might have been able to jump from the tower without falling. I miss that woman. Never all that athletic, she was still able to jump without tumbling. Sigh.
Grief. We delegate that term to major losses - most particularly the death of a loved one. We grieve for large catastrophes - house fires, earthquakes, the loss of a home, even the loss of a job. Yet, every day we lose things, things that we become nostalgic about, things we find ourselves pining for.
D is changing. Every few days, she looks and acts like another child. The words that come from her lips are words of a much older person than I think she is. I find myself missing her four-year-old self, five-year-old D, six-year-old D, at the very same moment that I rejoice in her understanding and skill. Heck, I miss the D of last week.
At 12 years old, I looked out the kitchen window and realized that the hillside I saw would change. (A house sits there now.) My breath caught in my throat when it hit me that I could never return to younger times and younger perceptions.
Even earlier, no older than D is now, I tried to duplicate the magic of a cartoon I saw. I spread a map on the floor and took a hop, a skip and a jump. But no matter how often I did it, no matter which direction I took, the map remained just a map. I never entered the land of talking animals. My best toy friend did not come to life. I ran weeping to my bedroom. I forgot the disappointment the next day. Lesson learned; life resumed.
At 12, the realization was deeper. The grief, though not accompanied by silly tears, was real. It was the beginning of grieving for things that no longer are.
We have so much to anticipate. Why look backwards with regret? We should remember those bright days that we "grieve" for and view them as harbingers of more wonderful days to come.
I am fortunate to have good memories to mourn. I can relive the good times - even the tumbles - until my memory fades. Good grief.