Being in the sunshine always makes me feel nostalgic. But not for our yellow house or my normal days, so maybe it’s not nostalgia at all that I’m feeling. Maybe it’s something else completely, like longing or daydreaming or channeling back to a previous life. Who knows? But, it feels familiar and good to spend my days under the palms.
June adjusted quickly to our routine here, even though she is teething and one hour behind schedule. Sean and I both think she’s happier here, too. But then again that could be our own projections. She sleeps hard after hours in the shaded backyard, swimming in her kiddie pool, barking at the dogs, swinging at the park. Our slow days spent hostage by Michigan’s snow do not offer the same gusto of activity that life in Florida does. I had forgotten that I was once an active person. How quickly and deeply the grey days can change you.
While June sleeps I finally find the words that I have been meaning to type for weeks. I see them just below me like shells on the shoreline. I dip my hands into the cool water to pull them out, feeling refreshed by my new collection. I strand together these words, like beads on a necklace my mother wore in the 80’s, wearing them wherever I go. At a restaurant I mentally describe the people through the window. I utter a sentence aloud about birds perched above June. I memorize the way the limes were lined at the grocery store. All of these acts subconsciously threading themselves around me. I had forgotten that writing is a constant practice not just one for the computer’s keyboard.
You cannot force creativity.
You cannot wrestle words from your mind.
You cannot complete unhad thoughts.
I wonder if June dreams about the blowing leaves when she sleeps or if her small body is too exhausted from new activity to even dream?
If I can remember to write these days, I write to remember. I create my own stories of nostalgia, of sunshine, of adventures. June has almost completed one trip around the sun, you see, and these stories for the past eight months have all been for her. Perhaps she will remember these times but probably she won’t. So, I string these sentences together in a collection for her, praying that she will always long for days in the sunshine with us.