His tail is not yet

As glorious as will be

Just give him some time 

Our street was long and dipped down at the end so when I was on my bike I could really pick up speed. I’d lift my feet from the pedals and let the momentum of that little hill propel me to the cul-de-sac where I’d rest before hitting it again, this time “uphill.”

I spent a lot of time trying to play with an older sister who was outgrowing me or a little brother who was not quite ready for the sophistication of my games. When I saw neighbors moving into the house across the street, I said a little prayer that the universe was delivering me a friend. 

And indeed it was. Not one but two– Sisters, a year apart and my instant companions. Kat was the younger of the two, my age exactly. She was an animal lover to her core with beautifully wild curly hair she’d pull back into a tight ponytail. I’d sit next to her on the bus and we’d talk and talk and talk. Unless she was in one of her imagining moods and I knew to be quiet to let her think, to let her watch the adventure stories she was creating as we rode. She was a painter too. Her room was full of 16×20 (at least that’s how big I remember them) canvases. Landscapes and wolves mostly. I remember one snow scene in particular that just blew me away. I didn’t know a kid could paint like that. I had never even tried.

We had just a few good years on West Ruelle Drive before my friends moved again, this time to North Carolina. We stayed in touch a bit, and I proudly flew to visit them once, an unaccompanied minor not quite sure how to navigate the airport. Now I just watch them from afar on their instagram feeds, always delighted when either of their faces graces my screen. Kat lives on what looks like sizeable land in North Carolina where she has more animals than I can count. I find myself wanting to tell my childhood friend that her adult life is going to be exactly as she wants it and not to worry.

I came across one of her posts last week– a photo of a rooster with the light hitting it perfectly. I asked her if I could reference it for a painting and she happily obliged with the caveat that the rooster was only five months old so his tail was not as glorious as it will eventually be. 

Not as glorious as it will be. That’s a phrase I’ve been taking on a few little drives around the neighborhood lately. 

This 31 days is still just a baby. I wonder where I’ll be in 29 more. I hope I can look back and tell this baby version of me not to worry, everything will work out perfectly.