Late this afternoon I went outside briefly to check on the whereabouts of Uma, my black English cocker spaniel. I stood in the empty carport, the air warm and still, the cool concrete beneath my bare feet. And suddenly, for no apparent reason, I was instantly eight years old, in our garage in Redondo Beach, standing barefoot on the cool concrete, amid Dad’s workbenches and tools (yes, even those orange-handled files and chisels), labeled bins, and piles of wood scraps. The memory hit me like I was living it for the first time, eyeing Dad’s wood scraps, visually selecting just the right ones for my latest great idea—my very own, personal, amazing, fully magical, “magic carpet”……made out of wood and nails.
In my head, my eight year old self is gathering together the hammer, the nails, the wood, the four wheels, hammering together the wood pieces, placing the wheels just so…….and then Dad walks into the garage.
“WHAT….are you doing?” he asks, baffled, perhaps dreading my answer a bit.
“Making a magic carpet.” I answer matter-of-factly, with complete conviction.
Dad snickers. “A what?!”
“A magic carpet.”
There are so many things Dad could have said at this point—“That’s ridiculous!” “You’re wasting my nails and wood!” “Clean this up and go do something else!” “What makes you think you can make a magic carpet?!”
But Dad is Dad. Instead of commenting, he asks. “Well......where are you gonna fly?”
And Dad simply laughed that soft laugh of his, then turned and left me alone with my project.
At that point I was back in my carport again, just standing there, looking out at the sunlit garden from the cool concrete. Just standing there, still feeling the eight year old inside me, fighting off the 59 year old. Wishing I could stay the eight year old.
If I had a magic carpet, could I go back?