Thursday, September 30, 2010

the birth moment

Every year since she was born I have woken Naiya up at the minute of her birth.  It's in the middle of the night before she wakes up one year older.  I head into her dark room and gaze at this wonder that has changed my life.  I sing her a birthday song; she wakes up, looks at me and usually just falls back to sleep.  I remember that moment she came to us and how I knew everything had changed but I had no idea what that really meant.  When she's asleep and still and so peaceful, all I see is what an incredible gift she has been.

When she's fourteen she might not appreciate this special ritual I have begun.  Or maybe she'll lay in bed straining to stay awake in anticipation of her mother's loving harassment.  Time will tell.

This year we began another pre-birthday ritual with this special poem just before we turned off the lights.

When I have snuggled into bed,
With pillows soft beneath my head,
And mommy switches off the light, 
I'll still be three years old tonight.
But from the very break of day,
Before the children rise and play,
Before the darkness turns to gold
Tomorrow, I'll be four years old.

Four kisses when I wake.
Four candles on my cake.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

even in arizona

Naiya: "How do you grow a green bean?"
Mommy: "You plant a bean, a green one :)"
Naiya: "But before there was... the first bean... before there was a bean, how do you grow a bean? When there was nothing? Only earth and people and houses?"
Mommy: "How do you think the first bean grew?"
Naiya: "Did god do it?"
Mommy: "Who?"
Naiya: "God"
Mommy: "Who told you about God?"
Naiya: "You did. You said children talked to gods in churches"
Mommy: "Do you know where God is?"
Naiya: "Where?"
Mommy: "In here." (I put my hand on her heart and held it there as I looked into her eyes and stopped talking)
...long pause
(I wish I could describe the look in her eyes)
Naiya: "...And in you?"
Mommy: "Yes."
Naiya: "And in daddy?"
Mommy: "Yes."
Naiya: "And Matthew, and Kelly, and Auntie Kelli?"
Mommy: "Yes."
Naiya: "Even Uncle Erin?"
Mommy: "Even Uncle Erin."
Naiya: "Even in other places?"
Mommy: "Yes."
Naiya: "Even in Arizona?"
Mommy: "Yes."
Naiya: "In all the people?"
Mommy: "All the people."

Monday, September 13, 2010

then you must hasten to gather it in

80 pounds of potatoes.
6 massive carrots.
1 new favorite song of the girl child.

The Gardening Song by Dillon Bustin

oh my friends it's springtime again
buds are swelling of every limb
the peepers do call small birds do sing
and my thoughts return to gardening
gardening is a very fine art
bear well in mind before you start
lay up your ax your saw blade also
and take down you spade
your rake and your hoe
polish your hoe
till the blade it does shine
likewise your rake and sharpen each tine
dress up your spade with a light coat of oil
then you are ready to prepare your soil
prepare your soil with a good free will
bear well in mind what you may till
some compost and lime
are all that you need
then you are ready to plant your seed
plant your seed but none too soon
bear well in mind the phase of the moon
set out the fruit the roots and the grain
and hope it all sprouts
in the cool early rain
if the cool early rain don't drown you out
the first hot spell will bring on the drought
the midsummer sun is hotter than hell
mulch down your rows
and you water them well
water them well and thin them also
beware of weeds and beetles and crows
if you work every day then little is lost
just hope it all ripens
before the first frost
the first frost will come as sure as sin
then you must hasten to gather it in
by cartloads and bushels
by pecks and quarts
your harvest of fruit
and grain of all sorts
all sorts of peaches and apples and wheat
oats and rye and strawberries sweet
squashes and melons with colorful rinds
your harvest of vegetable
roots of all kinds
all kinds of turnips and carrots and beets
potatoes tomatoes and strong smelling leeks
cabbage and corn the beans and the hay
then you must carefully store it away
away in the cellars and lofts and bins
make cider and kraut, pickles and gin
if you do it all well
then you'll not go wrong
you will have plenty all winter long
all winter long while the cold winds blow
take down your saw and wood cutting go
if you're well fed and warm
be well content then
till warm weather comes and you say to your friends

oh my friends it's springtime again
buds are swelling on every limb
the peepers do call small birds do sing
and my thoughts return to gardening

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