I sip mint tea and ponder

IMG_0743The day yields forth precious dewdrops
in the hour when all lie sleep.
I sit.
I sit and read.
I sit and write.
I sip mint and nettle tea slowly.
I let dark chocolate melt on my tongue
until it is only a reminiscence of itself.
I feel the tiredness behind my eyes.
I savor the delicious
silence around me.
In this time to be me for me.
I feel the radiance
of all the other versions of me.
I sip mint tea and ponder
the raindrops falling.

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Overlooking a Cliff

Wonder by Alex Grey

I look into your fifteen-month eyes,
blue opals of swimming water.
In them my soul bathes herself.

Each day you bring countless
smiles to my lips.
Each day you push me to feel my edge.

Overlooking a cliff,
I have choices:
I can soar.
I can plummet.

In the first I find the sky. I face
life, enveloped in lightness. The blue air
tingles on my skin. I am present to each moment.

In the second I trudge in coarse gravel.
A weight pulls me down.
My patience is tried.
I feel sorry for myself.
I react impetuously.

Each day I witness the mystery
of your little body growing.
I see your uplifted hands,
the pink softness of your feet.

I secretly want to take small bites from you.
Maybe because you suck life, in milk
out of my body. Just nibbles.

I hear you forming new words. Each sound
a puzzle piece for the communication
forming between us.
Language, is another marvel.

I tend to you with tireless
limbs. I stay present
with all my strength.
Expanding waves ripple
from my heart.
A love so large it is
nameless.

The happiness I feel when I see Selina

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I feel so happy I could explode. (Sleep is a miracle that works wonders).
The happiness I feel when I see Selina:
Her nose scrunched up in a smile.
The light in her eyes.
Her expression of delight mixed with a touch of roguishness.
One hand pointing: “MMMM” (Gimme that) she shouts.
Back-a, BaBa, DaDa.
A dialogue in many acts.

We nestle and snuggle in the morning, after the long night.
We play and explore in the afternoon.
She splashes in the tub in the evening.
A wave of love connects it all together.
Her heart to mine.
A conversation that spins tapestries of meaning.

Connections woven by her imagination.
She pretends she is drinking from a cup.
The cup on her head becomes a hat.
Her left brain naming, labeling, compiles information, sounds, shapes.
A bus pulling up and lumbering to a halt.
An ambulance wailing by.
A motorcycle puttering.
A plane flying overhead.
Crows cawing.
The bark of a dog in the distance.
Her right brain sings and wallops back to the left in exultation and recognition.
It layers longing, imagination, fondness, attachment, sense of self, and other.

She is beginning to speak. In English and Italian.
She says “No, no Numa, when our cat, Numa, scratches the couch.
“Adie” (for Grazie) when she hands me the cat’s bowl to wash.
Mama, Daddy, Bye, Bow, Ba(ll), (D)Ow (Ciao). Baby.
She sees a flower.
A bee.
A butterfly.
She smells the lavender and rosemary in our garden.
She is careful not to pull flowers off their stem.
She learns to climb the stairs in both directions.
She sucks the butter and jam off her tiny pieces of toast discarding the rest.
She devours salmon skin.
It’s her favorite thing it seems.

She follows and lopes after me whenever I come home.
She makes the milk sign and indicates her favorite chair to sit in.
When I see her my heart leaps.
I melt.
In love.

The Sun Shines Yellow in my Soul

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The smell of crushed mint leaves lingers
on my fingers, mixing with sweat
and heat. It’s the heart of summer.
Full moon: one lunar year since
you, my baby, were born.

The sun is beating relentlessly, turning
the grass to burnt gold; the earth a fine powder.
Pine needles crackle under my soles.
The dry air redolent of blackberries, spruce and dust.
There isn’t one cloud above. It hasn’t
rained in months. Trees are dying
in the dry summer heat.
Forests to the east of us are on fire.

You and I are inseparable companions. As I carry you,
sweat pours down my skin bin droplets and streams.
I sing, you coo, and point. One finger
extended from a pink hand. Your face in the shade
of your white sun hat. The sky is so blue it hurts.
My toes painted yellow
like ten winking dandelions. Cut off jeans
any shorter would be a bikini bottom.
Hair tumbling in a waterfall down my spine.

Each day brings us to the lake to get in the water.
We feel its mermaid coolness on our skin:
blue-green with mossy branches on its bottom,
algae afloat, willows stooping over it.
You splash and shout with glee, as I lift you in the air,
and back in the water. Ducks swim
and dive under. A dog barks in the distance.
The sun shines yellow in my soul

Some days

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Some days

Some days are better than others. They just are. The sun shines in a blue sky from dawn, and you wake up feeling rested. Or at least partially–perhaps an illusion of rest–after a night of nursing and responding even subconsciously to baby coos, babbles, hand claps, and of course cries. Some days you follow your toes. Some days you follow your nose. Some days you might follow your breath, in that one-pointed awareness that enlivens your being. It keeps you in the present. It allows you to check in with your emotions, it kindles your deepest thoughts.

Most days you need to eat, and you cook. You cook three meals a day, plus snacks. You cook for your baby. You cook for you and your husband. All meals need to be quick nowadays. You make scrambled eggs with kale for breakfast, so baby eats the whites as well as the yolks (as well as the greens). You strive to eat protein for lunch, and you get creative for dinner, meaning you think up dinners that have a prep time of under twenty minutes, leaving the rest to the oven, the grill, etc.

Some days you do laundry. Some days you do yoga. Some days you re-organize the house, water the plants, give yourself a much-needed shower. Some days you bake banana coconut chocolate-chip cookies. When it’s ready, as in bubbly and deliciously sour, you pour your kombucha batch into brown glass bottles that don’t let sunlight in. You add a slice of ginger, a mint leaf or two here, a sprig of rosemary, a raspberry or two there to give it special flavors.

Some days you are more tired than others. You try to nap and can’t fall asleep. Then, the second you plunge into sweet rest, a piercing shriek from your baby startles you onto your toes. Some days you cry at the drop of a hat. You just do. Some days you are impatient and super emotional. When your husband speaks to you in his soft voice, you thunder back: “what? I can’t hear you!! And that’s the mildest reaction, you recount.
On all days you are up by seven, minus one, (or sometimes two hours). You get your baby after she calls you. You nurse and change her. Your heart is brightened by her radiating smile when she sees you. You call to her: “Buongiorno Principessa” as you approach her room. You fall in love all over when she says DA-DA, when she claps her hands, when she kisses her bear, or possibly you, in the air.
You look at her and feel so blessed, so grateful. Later you walk together. You walk around the lake, you lie with her in the grass. You see what she sees. You point at what she points at. You watch her grab her feet and giggle. You watch her strive to roll over. As the months roll by she sits, she crawls, she pulls onto her knees, she tries to stand.

Every day, three times a day, you clean the table and the floors from smears of oatmeal, avocado, blueberries. You wipe your baby’s mouth and hands while she screams as though you were sacrificing her to the gods.
Every day you hold her. Your wrists ache on and off. So does your back. Your hips need multiple yoga and massage sessions to loosen. You hold her anyway. You carry her up and down stairs. You rock, and nurse and hum at night. In the day you swing in the swing with her, feeling bliss as her little body presses against yours. You watch her from behind as she swings. You imagine what lies hidden, ready to unfold in her tiny persona. Every day, you still can’t believe it.

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The apple blossoms pink and white

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The apple blossoms pink and white.
We sit sprawled out on a blanket
that belonged to nonna in our backyard.
You are eight months old.
Your whole body is round and lovely.
You have soft full cheeks and the bluest of eyes.
You play busily, observing the world,
flowers, bees, branches, specks of dirt.

Interspersed into every action
are the looks you steal at me, furtive, gleeful, curious.
There are moments when you laugh
in short staccato ha-has,
your whole face puckered in an impish grin.
I am imbued by a love so wide and deep
words fail to paint its full picture.

I look at the apple blossoms, and wonder
whether we will have apples this year.
There is a serendipitous connection
between my fertile outburst and the trees’.
Life moves in mysterious ways.

You are holding up one of the pieces of the rainbow,
the yellow one, thrusting your arm
back and forth in happy motion.
I look at you, at my life.
I feel complete.

Moments

IMG_1686Moments

Sweet smell of orange
lingers on my tongue,
in simple glistening moments.
Astir, the waking of a sleeping babe.
Soft and pink,
curled like a kitten.

A passing flit of wings.
Thoughts so thin they stir the heart.
To flutter in opening,
like waves crashing on a stone
cave in the ocean.
The foam frothing,
seething, receding.

The swaying of soul,
in days these first.
From taught worry mixed with panic,
to pure gold bliss, and
love so wide,
it knows no boundaries.
Wings dark. Wings light.
The fluttering of eyelids.
Ours and the tiny one’s.
In delicious moments of sleep,
like wine drunk sips,
pulling me under.

The moon now setting,
a glow of silver cast on sleepy skins.
I awake to the purity
of the morning light,
touching forms distant in the folded night.
I patter to the kitchen in search of food.
Our grey cat my ally.
Only to return to warmth of skin
moments later. In this
morning in time.
I stir to the call within.
The unknown, yet known,
voice of motherhood.
Deep in my chest,
buried like a well hidden secret.
Under the cave in the ocean,
where the waves of time crash.