Over at my blog project 365 Days of Literacy for Kids: Easy, Fun & Completely Do-able, I write about the tiny poem WILD GOOSE, WILD GOOSE by Issa. The poem asks the question of the Wild Goose, “At what age/Did you make your first journey?”
I think of that little Wild Goose… and the excitement, challenge and even fear of beginning its first journey. And it got me thinking about my first real journey, at least the first one I remember vividly. I was 5 years old, almost 6. It was summertime. My family… my Mom, Dad and 2 brothers were headed out on a 3,000 mile automobile journey from Boston to San Diego. My Dad was in the Navy and he had been transferred from everything I knew to everything new. I remember nothing of the discussions about the move or the packing or the challenge this move presented to my Mom… who had to leave her entire family behind.
But I do remember the day we left. Our car was packed. The trunk was loaded. I still remember my Dad closing that trunk. I still remember my Mom wiping tears from her eyes. We had stopped at my Nana’s house to say our good-byes. My Mom’s sisters and brothers were there. My cousin Debbie was there. Debbie is 9 months younger than me. I still remember thinking how lucky she was to be staying. I remember the hugs and the trying NOT to cry and feeling kind of what the heck is going on here. I knew we were moving a l-o-n-g way away for a l-o-n-g time (4 years is a l-0-n-g time to a 5-year old!)… but my parents had made the journey seem kind of exciting, too. They told us kids about warm weather all-year-’round and another ocean and a little pink house that was waiting for us. But what I remember the most, most, most is that we were stopping at my other grandparents’ home in Michigan along the way and my aunt was giving me her old 2-wheeler bicycle. Maybe my parents prepared me for the my first journey with the promise of that bike. I can’t be sure. But it worked.
As we pulled away from the curb at my Nana’s big old home, I looked out the rear window to everyone waving giant waves. I had a pretty good idea that this, for the time being, was behind me. And I had a pretty good feeling about that 2-wheeler, too.
In the poem WILD GOOSE, WILD GOOSE, maybe the Wild Goose was 5 years old and heading to a warm climate and a brand new ocean. Or maybe there was the promise of a used 2-wheeler that made all the difference in the journey.