“Did you say train?” I asked.
“Well, can you tell me where those roads will take me?”
“Highway 854 turns into highway 66, but it’s the same road, just the numbers change,” the father said.
That was the best advice I had been given in a long time.
The beginning of the soothing came and I went back to the dream of the rainbow toe socks I wore in junior high school with the words “foot loose and happy free” embroidered on the top cuff.
To get there, I needed to go back to the forest and pad along the soft packed dirt path with moss and wild grasses along the shores of the path. I remember flying down the path with my blond hair streaming behind me like a flag. I was running in happy anticipation of glimpsing the frog’s eggs in their next stage of development.
My grandmother had taken us, my sister and I and a group of our neighborhood friends (which has a multitude of meanings) down to the river’s edge. She showed us the gelatinous globs of frog’s eggs but, for some strange reason, I couldn’t pick out the toad’s eggs that dove into the shadows beside. I just couldn’t see them.
Throughout the weeks we, my sister and I, ran down the path to the river’s edge to watch the black dots in the eggs first grow a tail and then sprout feet and so on. I told my sister I couldn’t find the toad’s eggs and she said, “look, it’s a necklace.”
All I saw was a chain.
It wasn’t until years later, while talking with a very good friend, that he showed me the picture in my mind.
“The toad mother was very smart to lay her eggs by a food source,” I said. “I couldn’t have seen that without your words”
It was as though he showed me to peek under the bed and see the hairy monster, turned into the beautiful soul princess.
Photo by Rafael Schaller @ Unsplash
Photo by Josh Calabrese at Unsplash