i wake to the sound of rain. it came down last night for a good long time. drenched everything. the windows were open, but the wetness stayed out—pitter-pattering on leaves, soothing some of my sorrows, quenching the earth. somehow offering hope. a clean path forward.

it's half past nine. the house is still and quiet. the sky is white. calvin's bus pulled to the curb a couple of hours ago. thankfully, he got on it. yesterday, my in-laws headed south. it was a good visit. two years passed since we'd seen them. damn pandemic.

i slip into my rubber boots and clip smellie on the leash. once at the fields, i let her run free.

watching her go, i think about greens—these grassy expanses, my eyes, the pretty garden, the boots on my feet, my inexperience way back when with a newly-diagnosed epileptic kid. my initial naivete about doctors, hospitals and drugs. his first benzodiazepine when he was just three years old. enough to make me sick.

i think about time and numbers—three a.m. wake-ups. a week and a half since my son's last grand mal. four days of unbearable mania. one exasperated mama. several meltdowns (mine and my child's.) three long car rides to relieve our misery. one school day left until july twelfth. seventeen years of living with this tragedy, loss, fear, dread, pain, frustration, resentment. relatively few happy, calm, relaxing moments with my child. his limitations and halting progress. his impossible behaviors. the intractability of his seizures.

the elixir is always forgiveness.

i think about spacetime, motion and experience—the smallness of a room, house, or car, even when it's moving. the medical and drug information packed inside this weary head. a sorry situation with little room to adventure, roam or travel. countless promises of parenthood unfulfilled or broken. infinite nagging questions, most of which don't require answering. space only to dream and remember back when life was so very different, back when i was wild and untethered. i remember a conversation and subsequent blog post i wrote about freedom. i wonder now if impressions are any different.

i think about bittersweet images—seniors in caps and gowns holding their diplomas, proud parents beaming. little swimmers wading in the bay. campers and travelers taking weekend trips. sunbathers at the beach whiling away the hours. hikers ankle-deep in fields of buttercups or at the edge of a precipice. teenagers bicycling or taking driving lessons. empty-nesters sitting in the shade reading books.

as i cross the grassy field, i turn to see a single trail of darkened footprints. they weave and loop where i've swerved and circled. i look down and snap a photo. except for smellie, i'm alone. i'm grounded, yet can move willingly and with purpose. i consider the serpentine path in my wake. it's fixed. cannot be erased. and then i eye the clear expanse before me. it's green, untouched and wide open, awaiting my singular impression. my arrival, no matter which turns i take.

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