I didn’t know much, if anything, about lizards before moving to France. It came as quite a surprise while I was gently shoo-ing my first one away, that it dropped its tail and scooted out the door. I thought it was some sort of super ninja trick. Dominique explained that’s what they do. Shocked in the stairwell I thought, “It’s amazing what you can leave behind.”
So yesterday, when I saw a tiny one do the same thing, picking up the tail, I thought, “I’ve done this before.”
When the last of our three houses on Van Dyke Road was no longer ours, my mother had a garage sale. We packed our few remaining things in the Chevy Impala and backed the car out the driveway one last time. It was surprisingly quiet, only a slight popping of the gravel against the tires. I didn’t even hear as we drove over the remains of my father’s tail.
I suppose we were all trying to save ourselves. Friends, security, this neighborhood, this life, dusted behind us.
My mother and I moved from apartment to apartment. Finally settling the longest on Jefferson Street. Perhaps it was here we gained our footing and began to attach again. To new friends. A new life. With lizard-like resilience, we scampered through open doors, and found our way.
I can’t say that it wasn’t a tiny bit frightening — getting on the plane for France. Looking out into the blue, everything of this life became small. Tiny little tails. “I’ve done this before,” I smiled.
Life gives us all the tools we need. We face challenges. We grow. Change happens. Daily. Sometimes by choice, sometimes not, either way, opening a door. We can freeze in fear, or we can shake loose the dust, and scamper towards the joy.