Do you remember back when we were kids? When we'd walk the small paths in the area of trees we'd excitedly called a forest. It was green and bright with scattered sunlight filtered through the leaves, and the ground was damp from summer rain.
I don't think I'll ever forget the scent. The way everything was lifted, somehow, from what it really was. Like the greenery would hang in the air and we'd walk right through it and get a feeling of what life was really like.
We jumped the little streams and you stumbled, once, but I helped you up. We were both a little muddy and a little rugged, but beaming and laughing and scaring all the birds away.
We were looking for frogs, weren't we? You always talked about how you'd keep every single one you found, because your friend had and now they had so many frogs. I think it was because your dad wouldn't let you have a pet.
So you dragged me along to find the frogs. They were brown and really hard to see on the forest floor, but the movement of their little leaps would always catch our eyes.
They weren't hard to catch, not really. I can still feel the way I'd hold one. They were small but if you had your fingers loose enough it could escape. It tickled a little against my skin when it tried to get out, but most of all I remember the way it was still after I closed my hands over it.
Maybe, in the darkness, we all freeze, we all give up. I would be worried it had died or hadn't gotten enough air, so I'd open my hands to see, and it'd escape from me.
You laughed and tried to reach it again, I think. Wasn't it like that? That I caught them for you but always lost them, and you had to find them again. Yet, somehow, we never did catch the ones we lost.
I can't remember when we stopped trying to catch them to keep, and instead just went on the little muddy trails, looking for them just to look. They'd sit there, brown against the brown, and then make a leap and be gone.
We'd always point them out as soon as we saw them and we'd fall silent and kneel next to each other and just watch, because nature can be amazing.
I miss the frogs. No, well, I miss hunting for them with you. I miss you.