Natalie Ogbourne


The screen door crashed and muted footfalls raced across the carpet. “Come outside and look at the sky before it blows away!” called my littlest girl.

“Before what blows away?”

“The sky, it’s beautiful! But the clouds are moving really fast. I’m afraid you’ll miss it if you don’t come now, before the clouds blow away.”

I sighed.  What I really wanted to do was finish the dishes, but I dried my hands and followed my husband out the front door and up the driveway where we took our place behind our daughter. She gazed up at an impressionist’s sky, magenta bordered by blue and orange, molten sun captured and smudged with white clouds that swirled over our heads.

She was right; the sky was beautiful. But it was nothing compared with the little girl.

Beauty reveals itself to her everywhere and she’s got this breathy little gasp that lets us know when she’s spotted it. She likes my outfit? Delighted gasp. She sees a picture of an artfully set table? Delighted gasp. She walks out onto snowy path? Delighted gasp.

She sees. I could learn from that girl.

What I saw that night was not the sky. I saw the girl in front of it and I watched the wispy remains of her childhood blowing past as quickly as the clouds above our heads. And like the clouds, it’s moving on to make room for something new, something equally lovely.

Lovely, but different. I don’t want to miss what childhood remains while it’s here.

Even if it means leaving the dishes.


Sharing stories this week with the writers at Kelli’s Unforced Rhythms.