Arches National Park, Utah, 2012. Photo by Adeline Lindstrom.

Origami Bridges

Like a soul removed from my body, I watch;

I see.

I am swollen with a soup of emotion.

I watch

The miracle of a gift:

My son.

He is eight and sits crisscross style

On the floor by the dogs.

Studies and folds.

He is absorbed in his art.

His concentration does not falter.

His silhouette I can glimpse

While I work in the kitchen.

Our family splinters sharply in chaos.

Our home feels jailed by a rain-cloud necklace.

I am hunching over under the strain.

We have all lost Grandma.

His sister and brother bring turmoil of their own tragedy,

and that is only the tip of the iceberg of strife.

My sweet boy’s widow’s peak sticks up straight.

I look into his sweet face.

“Mom, look at this.”

His hand outstretched—

It’s an origami masterpiece.

This time a bear.

I smiled.

“Oh, that is exquisite,” I said, pulling him close to kiss his head.

“It will go here next to the rest.”

As I make room on the sill above the sink—

The place for my most treasured gifts,

The frog, the rhinoceros, the rose, and the dragonfly—

Our kitchen windowsill, 2016. Photo by Adeline Lindstrom.

Our kitchen windowsill, 2016. Photo by Adeline Lindstrom.

I saw it all fall loose.

The delicate love letters fluttering into the suds.

I tasted the salty tears rolling down my face.

Frantically, I salvaged the art of my son’s heart and mine.

Carefully, I placed them back in their place.

Through my anguish

I can see light.

Hope abounds in the art of life of this son of mine.

Many more paper masterpieces were made that year.

As I go downstairs to the pantry for supplies,

I am reminded.

There, the clear zippered bag that once housed a blanket—

One hundred presents or more of brightly colored folded art.

I understand

The ingenuity of the bridge he has made—

A safe path to journey through this challenging time;

From his heart and mind, he reached out to my soul.

I accepted.

We both made it through, one origami at a time.

Over the bridge, hand in hand, we carefully tiptoed.

I am forever grateful that when we reached the other side,

We were strengthened and better through our God-given bind.