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  • No hidden witches, no ghosts leaping out from behind closed doors, no monsters under the bed (although I did once think a skeleton of a dead Union soldier, still clad in tattered blue, stretched out on the Other Side of the Bed sometimes at night).

    Parents who loved each other (and were still holding hands under the table after 43 years of togetherness) and who loved me and my brother, hordes of relatives ditto.

    Childhood on a large farm, with plenty of woods to wander in, arrowheads to find, the solace of being alone.

    Sometimes I feel displaced in time. I look at other people's lives as though they are standing up in a glass half full of water, odd shapes that would be resolved if only I could dump the water out of the glass.

    I ache for you, for the children who've wandered alone, for the souls beaten down by abuse or addiction.

    If I could wrap my arms around you, I would say, "It is all right. Follow me. All here is safe and warm and the flowers bloom all year long."
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