Saturday, February 18, 2017

Elizabeth's hopes and dreams

Early mornings, as I walk the path from the university parking lot to my lab, I stop and pick up occasional potato chip bags or candy wrappers that were left behind by children and other pedestrians that shared the sidewalk, maybe on their way home yesterday from the nearby school, or maybe on their way back from the corner store.

Sometimes there is a crumpled piece of paper, someone’s graded test, perhaps a homework, little windows into a child’s life.

It’s worth looking, because the way they see the world is a perspective akin to that of poets: by recasting the obvious, they help you rediscover the beauty that’s right in front of you.

And so a few days ago I picked up this crumpled piece of paper, where a girl named Elizabeth had listed her hopes and dreams, crossed out a few things, and then finally put check marks next to the ones that, I imagined, she identified as the key ingredients for the recipe of her life.  

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