Remember the scrawl of initials on aspens, bark thin and scarred. The flutter of heart-shaped leaves, butter yellow, glowing in the sun.
Remember the shuffle of damp pine needles underfoot, the sifting of thoughts that fall on forest silence.
Remember the want of solitude, threaded to the want of freedom.
Remember the math lesson waiting inside, the perimeters to be calculated, the fractions to be inverted. The pencil lead rubbed into the wrinkles of palms, the glare of fluorescent basement lighting, the bowl of pretzels to be eaten as reward.
Remember climbing the slope back to the cedar-planked house. Remember the breathlessness of high altitude. The granite fragments tumbling down after every step. The wisps of mountain grass anchored against all odds.
Remember the smell of outdoors brought inside. The feeling of safety, of being wrapped up in fleece and wool, surrounded by walls and windows. Separation of wilderness from refuge.
And yet, silence holds secrets. Forests, shadows. Safety alone can be a suffocation.
There was heaviness in the words stay-at-home daughter.