As soon as we pulled into the tree lot, I knew exactly what I wanted. A tall, skinny, sparse Charlie Brown tree. And I know I picked the right one, because when my mom saw it, she stood in front of it, hugged me and declared it the perfect tree.
It's hilarious to me that I live in a household now that uses a real tree. Growing up, our trees came in boxes. They broke into three easy-to-assemble pieces. They were strictly artificial and pre-lit. Except for one year when we were gifted a real tree. I think maybe because we were the "poor" family in the ward. But I could be remembering that wrong.
The world is a blank canvas, my mind wiped clean with the snow.
I miss you, still. My memories of you linger as if you were dead. And maybe you are, as far as the person I knew is concerned. Because when I talk to you now, she isn't there. But maybe for you it's the same. Maybe when you talk to me, I'm not there anymore either.
And maybe that's the inescapable truth of it all. Those versions of ourselves are as lost as the ancestor from which they evolved. And we are bound to this process of becoming new creatures, of growing out of each other again and again until there's nothing left of our hearts but efficient little stones.
Throw them into dark bodies of water, watch them sink.
I was doing the dishes. I've decided I really don't mind them at this point. There are only two of us. The mess never gets too big. I turn the water on hot. Steam comes off my hands as I scrub. I look out the window in front of me, see the last light of day greeting me through spindly branches. I run outside. I stand behind the house until my fingers are numb as the horizon to the west sweetly serenades me with color.
You start spending time together, and everyone starts asking if you're a couple. You become a couple and everyone starts asking when you're getting married. You get married and everyone starts asking when you're having a baby.
I have a sneaking suspicion we do silly things like playing pretend that Heber, Utah is the North Pole as much for ourselves as we do for the kids. Because kids are magical creatures. (If you look past all of the tantrums and the poop.) They carry it in spades. (Both magic and poop.) And I can't help but to think at least part of the reason we humans keep bringing them into the world is because we need magic in our lives. We just do.