An hour into our drive back from a lovely Thanksgiving feast, I happened to turn around to see what my (very quiet) kids were up to. All three were fast asleep – and I had a mother’s sudden flashback to moments many years ago when they were toddlers and little ones, some still strapped into carseats. Their little faces always looked so serene, even as they did at that very moment, as they wandered through dreamlands varied and utterly engrossing. I would wonder then, as I did again last night, what were they dreaming of? what enchanted land or experience so captivated their attention?
They are young adults now, their characters have come into focus. I can no longer look upon their sleeping faces and wonder: who will you be? what you be like to talk to, hang out with, learn from? Another Thanksgiving has come and gone; my children are one year further from that long ago memory of sleeping babies on a car ride home…lost in their mysterious dreams. This poem, I think, best expresses what I felt at that moment, and (writing about it) now:
Before the World Intruded
Return me to those infant years,
before I woke from sleep,
when ideas were oceans crashing,
my dreams blank shores of sand.
Transport me fast to who I was
when breath was fresh as sight,
my new parts — unfragmented —
shielded faith from unkind light.
Draw for me a figure whole, so different
from who I am. Show me now
this picture: who I was
when I began.