Thoughts about lineage and looking ahead.
|You won’t remember that night. It was one month before your second birthday. We were standing outside in the darkness of an August night, and we were looking at the moon.|
We’d spent the afternoon at the lake, even though it wasn’t perfect. It was a little overcast and not very warm, but we were enjoying being together at that rustic cabin resort. Our whole gang of aunts and uncles, moms and dads, nieces, nephews, cousins, siblings and grandparents.
It wasn’t the kind of summer weekend where you still feel the imprint of the sun on your arms after dark. The kind where your cheeks glow rosy pink all evening, and you throw the covers back to let the heat rise off your skin while you sleep. But it was beautiful all the same.
Later that night we built a fire, roasted marshmallows and sang made-up songs until our faces hurt from laughing, and our fingers were raw from strumming the guitar. Of course, you were in bed long before all that. You were already dreaming of the day. Perhaps dreaming of the walk we’d taken, through the bog to the water, where I’d taught you how to shout and sing in the woods to scare off bears. Or maybe you were dreaming of lying on the dock, catching minnows in your net.
Maybe you were dreaming of eating dinner on the porch, surrounded by the sounds of a wooden flute and the laughter of so many people who love you. Listening to the voices of those who paved the way for your existence. And here you are, a part of that lineage now, the newest leaf on our tree. You will be the next woman to carry our stories, so I hope we make them good for you. I hope you can be better than all of us, and at the same time, I hope in any ways we’ve failed you, you can see we did our best. But all of that comes later.
What I remember from that night, and what you never will, is when I pointed up at the bright, full moon that was rising between the trees. You wanted a better look, so I picked you up to let you see. You reached out with your tiny hand and plucked that big, round moon out of the sky. And with gentle care, you placed it in the pocket of your pyjamas.