Vixen and James 2006It's been three years since you swam in the pond. She taught you well. Three years since your mother died. Every year that brings another November, the trees lose their leaves, you lie in those leaves, and it is like a thousand losses all over again. You have none of your mother's wild abandon. More of a quiet solitude as you study the world around you. Content to hold the ball and watch the others romp. Her presence is still strong. I know you all feel it each time the wind blows, sending gentle ripples across the pond, and setting every last leaf adrift on the breeze. Free to fall into piles for you to lie in.