Lily gets a call from the neighbor boy Danny, asking can she meet at the construction site? She’s sick, but perks up, flicks her hair, is halfway out the door once I catch up to her and say, “This is happening too fast. You’re too young for this.” Not as young as you think! she says over her shoulder, running up the yard.
Danny offers to carry her scooter: Lily, can I get that for you? He goes ahead on the trail, holds the raspberry vine down with his foot, gestures for us to pass, all clear.
The construction site is a new development, an area near our house we used to call The Forest. It has one house at the top of the street; the rest of the land is a patchwork of manicured grass, utility lines staked off and marked STORM or PLUMBING. It is a neighborhood just waiting to be.
Lily and Danny ride their Razor scooters down the short incline, end at the bottom of the street by the rock climbing wall and the stormwater drainage pond.
They’re inside their own dialogue: I catch scraps of it, but don’t want to interfere. I sit on the curb at the corner, watching the sky change, taking what I can from this moment to preserve the two of them: pricking air holes in the plastic lid of a jar, watching them from above with wonder, knowing I need to let them out to live.