My daughter is teaching me how to speak, and by extension, how to see and to feel (abilities I have all but lost).

"Bew-fuls, bew-fuls," she says, while looking at the shells we collected at the beach in NC last week. Does she really say beautiful, now? I can't even believe this. "Water comin," she says, when the ocean is roaring toward us, and there is no way to convey how absolutely perfect that word "comin" sounds when she says it. It is the sweetest thing. "Rainbow fall down" she says while reading and re-reading the Noah story, with which she has become sincerely fascinated. For that matter, "Animals comin" and "Fire comin" also feature prominently in the Noah readings.

Which brings me to the "deep fire," or dehumidifier, which was required when I flooded the bathroom at the beach house (oh no, no, no, but all too true). "Petties, petties (pretties)," she says of the small stones we collected on Martha's Vineyard earlier this summer.

"Rainin, poh-in" she sings, then, "ah, moh-nin, ah, moh-nin." Sean and I can't figure out if this is some song abut Morning that we don't know where she learned, or if she's simply singing in her own language, as sometimes when we say "I love you," and she responds, "Ah Mohnin," and then starts singing this poetic phrase over and over. It's what she sings when feeling happy or comforted, and more than anything, it comforts us. It tells us that it's all going
to be alright--really Mommy, really Daddy, really it is.


salvage, redeem

Whenever the Broken Land feels just too broken to be salvaged, and I want to run away, it is somehow redeemed. Today the Brooklyn Botanic Garden rescued me from slow and steady decline into mommy malaise.

A divine lotus and its roots, some intricate star/leaf formations in the same pool, Magnolia's joy at looking up at trees ("I'm just laying down," she said, while looking up through the branches at the sky beyond), her joy at touching the sprinkler over and over and over, and the wonderful environmental sculptor Patrick Dougherty working on a new installation at the garden: