Monday, March 10, 2008

Duck, Poe, Geese

Every day, numerous times a day, I'm reminded of why I'm so lucky to have had children. As a mother/daughter experience, I got my first (and last) professional manicure when Julia was four. Now at nearly 20, she shows me poetry and facts about snails and love and sharing beyond words. Abby pierced my ears when I wanted those extra holes. Kristara bought me my very cool, 57th-birthday-present first tattoo and she makes me laugh crazy. She keeps me company in the basement. Maggie introduced me to Fight Club and Donnie Darko and Buffie and more culturally important stuff than I can imagine. Stacey and I have logged hours that turn into days playing Wordwhomp and doing crossword puzzles and sharing books and meeting that very odd woman who couldn't tell us the answer to 19 across (clue, odor). And Poe never ceases to amaze me. She continues to teach me constantly and she keeps getting older, damn it, and she takes care of all of us and she can bake cakes and cookies and make sock puppets like no other and . . .

walking our dog, Duck, a couple of nights ago, Poe stopped abruptly and commanded me to look up, now, quick. It was midnight and overhead was a formation of geese, just visible in the black night sky, seemingly gliding. We stood stock still and watched and listened in awe as they flew by.

Two days after writing this I encountered the following poem by Wendell Berry. What a smart man.

What We Need Is Here

Geese appear high over us,
pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,
as in love or sleep, holds
them to their way, clear
in the ancient faith: what we need
is here. And we pray, not
for new earth or heaven, but to be
quiet in heart, and in eye,
clear. What we need is here.

Wendell Berry

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