What do you leave behind?
September 17, 2017

A guy I knew in college was a basketball fanatic. You should’ve heard him yelling at Husker games. I’d never seen anyone so passionate about anything, and I was enchanted. It was infectious. Bewildering, but infectious.

Is that why the conversations we had off the court, so to speak, stick with me? When Mr. Basketball waxed dreamy one starry night about how he couldn’t get over how long it had taken the light from those stars to reach us, I never looked at them the same way again. When he pointed out the song of a mourning dove on a quiet Saturday, he guaranteed every time I heard one I’d think of him. And when we decided a refrigerator condenser clicking on reminded us both of home, the same.

I love how the writer Anne Lamott describes her son. “Sam is a swirl of every age he’s ever been,” she says, “and all the new ones, like cotton candy, like the Milky Way. I can see the stoned wonder of the toddler, the watchfulness of the young child sopping stuff up, the busy purpose and workmanship of the nine-year-old…”

I’m the swirl of every person I’ve ever known. That makes me so happy.