Sylvie’s parents said, “You should make a list of all the books you read this summer, so when school starts, you can see how many books you’ve read.” Sylvie thought that was a nice idea, but instead of writing a list of books (which sounded boring to her), she decided to stack the books she read.
While reading, Sylvie had adventures in fantasy lands, fought evil dragons, helped good dragons, soared in a hot air balloon to a tropical island, solved the mystery of a missing key, flew to a space station near Jupiter, went up secret stairs to a laboratory. She stacked book upon book upon book, making a tower in her bedroom. Books she had received as presents, books bought at bookstores and yard sales.
She climbed the stack, worried as it wobbled, and sat at the top to read each new book. She liked looking down at her bed and toys and chest of drawers, seeing them from a giant’s point of view.
At summer’s end, she didn’t bother counting the books in the stack, as she just liked looking at the tall tower and remembering the many adventures.
As my wife drives, I close my eyes and enjoy the orange sunny glow behind my eyelids: flashing off when tree tops block the sun, then flashing on in the spaces between trees.
It reminds of 2001: A Space Odyssey, the psychedelic part with colors stretching toward us viewers.
Although we’re on the highway’s long black ribbon that could be tied to a helium balloon (I’ve never seen that elusive balloon) instead of the vastness of space.
What if, after I open my eyes, we’re in a parallel universe? Would we know it?
Most things could be the same as the previous universe— until we discover small differences, like some sheep have blue wool, and sweaters made of their wool are highly valued for softness and coziness.
Quick! Build the wall taller and thicker against the onslaught of farther-reaching waves! They’re worse than an invading army with catapults! We must protect the sandcastle at all costs! Otherwise, the hours of work on its graceful arches and majestic shell-dotted towers will be for naught!
In the bright mornings, we need to stay strong with the fear of our shadows, since they continue to follow us, attached as they are to our feet, and those feet can run as fast as they can, but the shadows will still be with us, like projections of our darkness within, which doesn’t leave either.
You say bees spent much effort to make this honey, so we need to respect it: bud growing to blossom to blossom’s joyful weeping over the wonder of being alive to bee’s delicate drinking of the flower’s tears while the bee humming-whispers, “I’ll treat this with love, my friend” to sharing nectar with another bee at the hive to placing it in the comb and whipping their bee wings to create a gentle whirlwind that removes moisture and thickens the nectar into honey. So we should whisper “thanks” to the bees while drizzling honey on toast or whatever else suits your fancy.
From a friend’s advice, May and her parents planted milkweed in their yard and there grew a little forest with pink blossoms magical themselves which expanded when Monarch butterflies arrived and flitted off in orange clouds like flying lanterns
I was wondering that question, lying on a floral beach towel, a speck in a crowd of swimsuited people— all of us lumps of cookie dough glazed with sunscreen and coconut oil baking in this oven.
I lift a handful of sand, watch the grains cascade in the spaces between my fingers, thinking there’s got to be metaphors for time, uniqueness, perseverance— maybe insignificance if you’re in that kind of mood.
But above the ocean, a small plane flies before us, towing a banner advertising a restaurant’s all-you-can-eat buffet, and the sand falls from my hand, forgotten.