I was sitting at Dragon Park several years ago, down the street from where I live now and where I grew up. Zoe was playing in the sandbox, and I was on the ledge of it watching. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a little girl sitting next to me.
Have you ever noticed what you see out of the corner of your eye? I saw my dog Lucky for the first time. In just the right time, I saw the green reflection of a raft a little boy was holding onto who was drowning, and I saw Jay walk past me in the hallways of my middle school time and time again. All of these I saw out of the corner of my eye.
The little girl I saw was wearing silver angel wings I guess in the same way girls wear princess' dresses and red sparkly shoes just for fun. Junebug wore a cowboy suit most days to preschool for that same very good reason. The little girl and I spoke, and as we did, she moved closer and closer to me as if I was an aunt or a close family friend. She was about five or six at the time.
I saw her again many years later riding her bike to middle school. And now and then I ran into her walking through the park on her way home. We kept in touch lightly with a wave and a quick hello. She lives only a block and a half away from me now so I pass by her house often and on days when I have the luxury of a slow walk, I look up at the windows to her room. I worry about how she is doing because I can't stop seeing myself in my bedroom. Sometimes I can see us playing as time moves forward and backward and meets in the middle for a minute in my imagination.
"What’s your dog’s name?" I said as I looked up from my phone this evening. As I was talking and distracted, Benji pulled me to meet a new dog friend as we arrived at Dragon Park. When she answered me, I remembered her moving a little closer with her angel wings.
“I know who you are!” I said excitedly to her when it dawned on me after we spoke for a few minutes as I watched Zoe play in the sandbox.
In the setting sun of this evening sky tonight, she looked up and asked if I ever went out on the roof outside of the upstairs bedroom. “Yes,” I laughed. “I did. My mom would get so mad at me. I soaked myself in baby oil and laid out on the roof on towels I covered with aluminum foil.” With her pale white youthful skin, she looked at me a little oddly. “Yeah,” I said, “it was before we knew how bad the sun was for you.”
"What grade are you in now?” I asked. “10th,” she said.
“I know who you are," I said.
"You do?" She asked squinting as her little angel face looked up at me.
"You are the little girl who lives in my house where I grew up.".
I was right. She was the little girl who moved into my house after my parents sold it around the time Zoe was born to a family with a young son and daughter. I never met her until this day at Dragon Park by the sandbox and in moments then and now and in between, as time moves forward and memories move backward, I see her out of the corner of my eye.
Below Puff the Magic Dragon by Peter, Paul & Mary - Jay & Zoe @ Dragon Park.
The dragon in Dragon Park sadly is in need of repair and they are crowdfunding to raise money. Help spread the word about this very magic dragon! Here is the link: https://www.gofundme.com/SaveOurDragon