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  • The summer of 2002, I worked at a YMCA summer camp in Bellingham, Massachusetts. I was eighteen. In search of a summer romance. The idea of escorting grubby little six year-olds to swimming lessons and baseball and crafts in the sweltering July heat was not how I wished to spend my summer.

    But then, I met Adam. A spunky, freckled boy who unlike me was infectiously excited to be at YMCA that summer. He had the most spectacular mop of red hair I'd ever seen on a boy. He taught me how to play baseball and during our lunch break, he would often take my hand in his and insist on a walk through the woods. His friends made fun of him for spending so much time with a girl, but he didn't seem to care. He had a magical effect on me though and I began looking forward to seeing him and through him, the joys of summer camp.

    Adam didn't talk much about himself. But underlying his enthusiasm, I could sense a desperation. A quietness to run away from something. From random strings of conversations overheard on the playground and the staff quarters, I learned that Adam's parents were going through a divorce. I asked him about it the next day on our walk. He shrugged. His mind was a million miles away. It was slightly overcast that day. The light was pleasant but subdued.

    "There's still liquid sunshine," he said quietly, pointing to the trees and the watery gold light flowing through the leaves.

    I had never heard that phrase before and it's elegance took my breath away. I gave him a hug. And without another word, he sprinted out of the woods towards his friends to play another game of catch.

    Adam was only six years old.


    Adam must be sixteen or seventeen now. Every time I witness liquid sunshine, I think of him. And the two of us in the woods.
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