19 August 2019

in california.


poetry, all of it: birdsong liturgies of muir woods, a cathedral of trees. fog tangled in branches. sweater weather in summer. our rose-cheeked boy, toes in the sand, voice ever raised in song. joy in traveling as a family -- in circling a place on a map and calling it there. a fiftieth birthday. ice cream cones billowing with strawberries and sheep cheese custard. the drive to big sur, all van morrison and hills thick with wildflowers. asilomar beach -- where my father taught his grandson to skip rocks. dimpled hands bringing me posies under cypress trees. the tumble of waves-on-rocks in half moon bay. big, beautiful breakfasts -- biscuits and rosemary potatoes and decadent french toast at plow, egg and homemade sausage on brioche at outerlands. memory of california last, how my tum curved like a soup spoon, how unbelievable to think we had not yet seen his face. redwoods -- they are so many beautiful things but mostly they are one deep breath after another. the haunting and mysterious beauty of sutro baths. seeking coffee and a playground in the sunset, getting to know the neighborhood like locals. the houseboats of sausalito, like a string of prayer flags, like birds on a wire. a sunday drive in sonoma, walking gundlach bundschu vineyard row by row, ducking into the girl and the goat for sweet wine and salty cheeses. rising before the sun, all seven of us, to drive east in search of yosemite, wild for her waterfalls and swimming holes. how bright the stars shimmered. how low the sun dipped. how near the moon felt. northern california -- a world of salt and vine and rock and god.

11 August 2019

hydrangeas, etc.


august of another summer, and i write from a cloud of a bed at christopher's parents' house, our rosebud of a boy nestled deep in the realm of angels beside me. i am quietly listening to music i have loved for so many summers (songs: ohia, the national, fleet foxes) and small puffs of baby's breath rise above the memories. we have come for the weekend, days a living poem of summer: farm stand tomatoes and suppers on the grill, big breakfasts and baby splashing in water on the deck, the reciprocal joy of grandparents and boy, a visit with great-grandmother georgia, sleeping with the windows open, birdsong liturgies the sound of morning coffee and milk. we're taking the sort of deep breaths that come easy when you look out a window and see trees and trees.

i have so much i want to write. what came after june days in utah (california, ordinary days passing like honeyed melodies). what came before (london, paris, weeks of rain, his golden tufts of hair rolling like fog into impossible curls). days and nights, i am inextricable, indistinguishable, from boy, happily, purposefully, tending, chasing, sharing sunmilk and moonmilk, marveling at the miracle of everything he does, giving thanks with every exhalation. and so i don't get much written, but i am ever etching into memory and soul, and his presence makes what i do write sacred. his presence, along with his father's, is everything i ever want to write.

here is an hour among hours i loved and i love: it was just after breakfast and just before nap, and we stepped into air thick with the promise of rain to walk amongst lush ferns and riotous balloons of french hydrangeas. he darted this way and that, eager and curious, noticing sticks and rocks and far-off dogs, wholly immersed in the universe he is in. every day, he is breaking my heart. he greets flowers by name and blesses every sneeze and sings his way through the market or anyplace. his vocabulary is flourishing (alpaca! hydrangea! elbow! rain!) and he pretends to chat on the telephone. he calls his animals, wooden or fur, "babies" and he pauses daring but cautious explorations every few steps to climb into my arms, as though he's a bird flown back to his tree.

august of another summer. another day. another week. more words. more growth. more love. more love. more love.

05 August 2019

june days in utah.


these days were so gentle with me. walks with the rising sun, receiving her offerings. lungfuls of air, light and cold, spiced with wildflowers and spruce, juniper and pine. the sounds i heard: water on rock, a houseful, soft words, mother words, laughter and wise counsel, birdsong, deep breaths, my baby's glee at the tickle of blue sage, my own pulse with a hum. tucking six sunshine-haired ducklings into their beds and staying up late to volley thoughts on vegetable gardens and the cosmos, the intricacies of faith. i reach for the words to account for our june days in utah, and i reach and i reach. how to write about days lived amongst my womenfolk, climbing mountains and chasing babies? 

these days were about recharging in the great space of summertime in the desert.