Do you remember what the world looked like when you were four years old?
How tall everything was, and how mysterious? How grownups navigated these mysterious things with astonishing agility—driving cars, getting on and off buses at the right stops, counting change, ordering food. And how they seemed to just know, without anyone having to show them (much less show them again and again, as you needed to learn things like shoelaces and chopsticks and bedtime).
When you spied something with a sign on it, with letters or instructions, you clung to it: it was a hint, a clue, some foothold in this bewildering world you would never, ever master. You’d whisper the word to yourself if you could, working out the letters, testing.
You do master it, of course, or at least some of it: adding up numbers and signing your name and cooking a hamburger. Other parts remain always a little out of reach, the domain of SuperGrownups who know how to navigate the rapids of change, or can manage to remember that the blues, too, will pass.
Perhaps that’s what’s so comforting about coming across one of those old signs in the wild now, when you are tall enough to reach for the handle from the top. I learned this, you think. At some point, I will learn the rest of it.
And you whisper to yourself as your fingers curl around the dented brass bar.
This is Day 18 of a 21-day series. For more scoop on the who/what/why, go here.