Dear Maya,

The dirt is fine and soft, still not packed down, still loose. As I ran my fingers through it I thought of many things, of course.  I remembered the sandbox at Hasbrouck Park, the many afternoons spent there just being with you.  Our routines. Pick Up from daycare, or a weekend morning together. Sometimes it was hard for me to be present with you; you always seemed to be content just in the moment of play.  Nowhere else to be, nothing else to do.  I was sometimes distracted, longing for something else, someplace else. When I could just be with you, there was such joy for me.  Something so simple about watching you, the metaphor of the sandbox so appealing to my spirit and my mind.

Now I have little difficulty being present with you. But of course, there is no joy. Only sadness, despair, longing for what cannot be.  For a while I was sure there was more to this all, a spirit lingering still.  Now, that certainty is gone.  Back to the questions, the questions again.

I recognize the flow of this; I am not, at my core, deceived by it.  I know it will change again, and again, and yet again.  But in this moment, it is all there is.  A flood, a flood inside me.

I smoothed out the dirt, removed the dried leaves, arranged the precious items. The irony is not lost on me, the ritual of making beauty from this all. I persist in that despite the incongruence of it.

Maya, I miss you so.  I miss that time in the sandbox, the stillness, the simple joy of the bucket and the cup, the laughter, the scale of it all, the utter lack of complexity.  All that was, was visible.  No secrets, nothing hidden.  Just love.

Love you and miss you,


One thought on “Sandbox

  1. Mathew,
    The way that you and Maya were together was always so touching to me. I noted to myself that especially for a father-daughter relationship, you two seemed to be so very in tune. Movie buddies, teasing and joking buddies, even the way that Maya posed playfully with Pop for you, in the pics you took…..Just a few of the connections that I witnessed and was moved by. As you did in her life, you continue to nurture and care for your precious Maya
    With love,

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