Daydream Sequence #10

As I moved away from the scene almost catching some sidewalk in my rush, I wondered what exactly I had just witnessed.

There was running and screaming.  Something violent had occurred; what injuries or death had happened I could not know in my haste to get away from the chaotic scene–mostly car lights and throngs of anxious and confused people.  I was one of them.

Here I was outside my old middle school after a party or something like that trying to get away from something I innately understood to be dangerous.

The ambulance lights still colored the scene in strobes that were hardly celebratory; I joined a conversation about what was going to happen next, celebrate our escape when I learned from one of the people gathered in the huddle, “Darlene’s dead.”

Immediately I was made to understand how I had escaped so easily.

In fact my escape had been the result of a bumbling clumsy jog as I kept turning behind me to see what was going on. And now that I thought about it I was getting that maybe this was why no one seemed to pay me any mind as I milled with the now-onlookers.

Maybe this explained, too, my relative calm.  I had rushed, but what had made me think that turning around to see what was going on was a good idea?  It had never worked in the movies.

So this is it?  Death?  Apparently I had moments to adjust to the fact that I was to soon join the community of ancestors, and in those few moments I also had to gather my disbelief and make a decision: what do you think happens when you die?

What is it, darlene, that you believe?

I was asking myself impatiently because I think I’ve either thought death swift and judgment immediate.  Or, more recently, realized I didn’t really have the judgment thing figured out and so I did that dangerous thing we the living do: counted on having more time.

Yet here I was: out of time.

[Read more about Daydream Sequences here.]

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2 thoughts on “Daydream Sequence #10

    1. Mommy,

      Remember Freddy the Leaf (you read it to us–thanks 30 years later by the way ;):

      “I’m afraid to die,” Freddie told Daniel. “I don’t know what’s down there.”

      “We all fear what we don’t know, Freddie. It’s natural,” Daniel reassured him. “Yet, you were not afraid when Summer became Fall. They were natural changes. Why should you be afraid of the season of death?”

      “Does the tree die, too?” Freddie asked.

      “Someday. But there is something stronger than the tree. It is Life. That lasts forever and we are all a part of Life.”

      “Where will we go when we die?”

      “No one knows for sure. That’s the great mystery!”

      “Will we return in the Spring?”

      “We may not, but Life will.”

      “Then what has been the reason for all of this?” Freddie continued to question. “Why were we here at all if we only have to fall and die?”

      Daniel answered in his matter-of-fact way, “It’s been about the sun and the moon. It’s been about happy times together. It’s been about the shade and the old people and the children. It’s been about colors in Fall. It’s been about seasons. Isn’t that enough?”

      “That afternoon, in the golden light of dusk, Daniel let go. He fell effortlessly. He seemed to smile peacefully as he fell. “Goodbye for now, Freddie,” he said.

      Then, Freddie was all alone, the only leaf on his branch. The first snow fell the following morning. It was soft, white, and gentle; but it was bitter cold. There was hardly any sun that day, and the day was very short. Freddie found himself losing his color, becoming brittle. It was constantly cold and the snow weighed heavily upon him.

      At dawn the wind came that took Freddie from his branch. It didn’t hurt at all. He felt himself float quietly, gently and softly downward. As he fell, he saw the whole tree for the first time. How strong and firm it was! He was sure that it would live for a long time and he knew that he had been part of its life and made him proud.

      Freddie landed on a clump of snow. It somehow felt soft and even warm. In this new position he was more comfortable than he had ever been. He closed his eyes and fell asleep. He did not know that Spring would follow Winter and that the snow would melt into water. He did not know that what appeared to be his useless dried self would join with the water and serve to make the tree stronger. Most of all, he did not know that there, asleep in the tree and the ground, were already plans for new leaves in the Spring.

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