When Lucy was about three years old she discovered the wind. She loved having the car windows rolled down and would squeal with delight. Her eyes closed, her face bent slightly to feel the air blow across her cheeks and through her hair. She loved it. A child in delight of the world.
Perhaps it was the feeling of being free that she loved. Or perhaps it was the idea of the wind blowing dangerously strong into her face that gave her a sense of adrenaline. Or perhaps she liked the way the noise and sensation seemed to block everything else out.
Like most children Lucy’s wonder with the wind faded as she grew older. The innocence lost in the wake of recognized fears and new responsibilities. The wind, once mysterious, was now a known entity no longer worth acknowledgement or delight.
This past week concluded rehearsals for Lucy’s third theater production. If you don’t know about theater the last week includes full dress rehearsals every night. Long, arduous rehearsals where the pressure for perfection increases with every practice. The week is a blur of last minute costume changes, make up, wigs, line changes, and dance numbers. Even for a youth production these weeks can be grueling. The smell of sweat, grease paint, hairspray and youth angst is like a thick smog in the changing rooms. Every night Lucy dragged herself back into the car and rattled off a non-stop monologue of all the things she did wrong that night and what needed to change.
This happened for five nights until the final rehearsal. No more practicing. No more chances to make the wrongs right. When I picked Lucy up she was tired and quiet. She crawled into the car and barely made eye contact. I asked her if she was nervous for opening night and she silently shrugged her shoulders. It was late and the coolness of the day had started to settle. Sensing that she didn’t want to talk about the last rehearsal or the impending opening night I remained silent.
She lowered the car window and hung her head out. The wind blew her hair violently and she closed her eyes. She needed time to visit with an old friend.