It was a hard lesson to learn at a young age. You sat there next to your parents in the green fields that stretched for miles. One of them pulled out a little plastic bottle (blue with a white cap) and removed a red plastic stick. A single wave or a soft breath produced magic-- silver circles floating above your head. Little dreams out of nowhere. Sometimes you tried to catch them, but missed. Occasionally your Dad would reach out with the red wand and capture it. You would stare at it in wonder, but when you reached out to hold it -
pop -

Things this beautiful don't last

your Mom would say, which was cruel truth. She was not intending to be heartless, of course, but there it was.

As your young life raced by this was repeated again and again in so many different ways:

Butterflies kept in a box, only to die overnight. Vacation sand castles, built sturdily, then destroyed by the evening tide.
Perfect snow day sledding paths that warm weather ruined.

Things this beautiful don't last

your mother would say, as you headed home from vacation watching a rainbow fade away over distant clouds.

Now, so many years later I am learning the lesson again. Staring at my phone machine with a dial tone in my ear. My last conversation with you has ended in a quiet "see ya" rather than a series of sighs and warm pauses. What was once postponed separation has become a quick exit. I had hoped that we had years of conversation ahead of us, years of words both spoken and implied.

I close my eyes and imagine myself a child again: reaching for those silver circles hoping that maybe this is the one that will remain. A perfect sphere, as fragile as crystal but strong enough to last. Strong enough to withstand my grasp.