Monday, March 28, 2011

On, In, and Around Mondays: The Keeping-Bottle

lake and reeds

The living room floor has been covered with catalogs and papers. I asked her to look through them. She is old enough to take part in such big decisions.

We are trying to choose a distance-learning high school. A next step in our home education life. I can still remember how this dark-haired child called me out of the work-force at a mere seven months old, by going on a hunger strike. She's always been one to know what she wants.

But as she looks through the piles of paper and propaganda, I can see this isn't easy. Her eyes light up at some of the course descriptions. Then she asks, "Do I have to take a language?" Then she talks at length about how kids should have more choices. She starts an essay, sets it aside.

We go walking.

It's a beautiful day to go around the lake at Rockefeller Park. She holds my hand, tells me that today the water is the kind of blue she wishes she could put in a bottle, take home, and peek at whenever she wants.

At the far side of the lake, she takes a detour onto a hill that overlooks the water.

"Mommy come!"

I pick my way to where she stands, watching the water move before the wind. We hold each other. "I love you," I say, my face in her hair. Then I tell her I love the way this hill, this water, this blue feels like forever.

"Yes," she says.

After a while, we go back to the path, and now we walk as one. Her hands are cold and she has her arms around my waist, so she can share the warmth of both my pockets. Our stride must match now, to keep from stumbling.

We are near the final curve of the lake, and she starts storying. The lake weeds look like hair. It is lake people having a picnic. And the brilliant triangles of light that keep emerging and descending must be ice— a visitation from the lake world below. This is a castle. That is a rock for mermaids.

Now the path turns right, and the water falls away. I want my own keeping-bottle. For this blue, and the lake people, and my girl, my girl.


On, In and Around Mondays (which partly means you can post any day and still add a link) is an invitation to write from where you are. Tell us what is on, in, around (over, under, near, by...) you. Feel free to write any which way... compose a tight poem or just ramble for a few paragraphs. But we should feel a sense of place. Would you like to try? Write something 'in place' and add your link below.

If you could kindly link back here when you post, it will create a central meeting place. :)

On In Around button

This post is also shared with Laura Boggess, for...

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Blogger Shaunie @ Up the Sunbeam said...

So beautiful!! Oh I want a keeping-bottle too!!

11:18 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Do you know what you do to me with posts like these? Your little girl is soo sweet. Little boys don't do these things--not the wrapping up into one thing (stories they do, but not nearly so pretty). I'll have to live my little girl dreams through stories like this. :)

Such beauty.

12:16 PM  
Blogger Karen Kyle Ericson said...

That's beautiful. I could see the imagery you describe. Thanks so much for sharing.

12:31 PM  
Blogger lynnmosher said...

So beautifully always. Yes, I want a keeping bottle also. {{sigh}}

12:50 PM  
Blogger Jeanne Damoff said...

What a dear story and precious time with your daughter. You do have a keeping bottle made of words you can come back and admire again and again. Thank you for sharing a glimpse with us, too.

6:02 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

Hmmm...wonder how she got to be such a beautiful storyteller? Castles and rocks for mermaids--beautiful.

7:53 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

Such precious moments L.L. This brings tears as I look ahead a few weeks to the time my little girl will cross an ocean to begin life as a married woman. You are so wise to bottle up these times. They go so quickly.

9:28 PM  
Blogger Jennifer @ said...

Just ... beautiful.


I am deeply moved. It's your hair all around her.

I want a keeping-bottle for this.

11:29 PM  
Blogger Louise Gallagher said...

Beautiful! I wish you a keeping-bottle of blue lake mixed with sky and memories of 'my girl, my girl' forever.

11:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

a bottle of blue

now, that would be a wonderful prompt...

4:16 PM  
Blogger Bonnie said...

Oh yes...a keeping bottle.
I just love to see what it looks like. It's full of eternal things and those dashes of Emily!

4:27 PM  
Anonymous Ann Kroeker said...

I hope you all find the perfect high school situation for your poetry girl who sees the world so clearly with each step.

9:47 PM  

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