We walked in on the frozen stream, each step risking the breaking ice, but caring little. My mind was focused somewhere far beyond the crackling ice, and then on the vast openness before me. My eyes were quickly drawn to the barren tree protruding from the marsh. It stood alone, a smaller tree next to it, a child to a parent. It stood so tall and bare in this vast open space. I turned, watching mom walk into the marsh, towards the center, her blue jacket standing out above the golden grasses that covered the swamp, the snow not yet deep enough to cover them. The gold grass fluttered in the wind as mom crossed the marsh. I followed.
I stood in the middle, moved by the open world around me, watching the movement of the grass, watching the stomping steps Mom took, I closed my eyes, my body spinning or maybe just my mind. I felt Dad, I wanted Dad, it doesn't matter which one it is or was, he was there. My eyes were drawn down to the gold, up to the blue empty sky, I looked for Dad. Where are you? The wind slowed down and passed me softly. I followed my Mom's steps, stomping where she had. Watching the wind move the tall pines surrounding the marsh, watching Mom through piney branches of a bare tree. I turned back to the large tree in the center, my eyes fixed again. Why was it standing out so strongly when moments early and in moments again I would be surrounded by larger and older trees?
Mom sat on a branch once out of the swamp. "The pain is too much sometimes." We both cry, her more visibly than me. "But it’s too cold to sit here anymore."