My girl climbs onto my lap. We lay outside under the shade of an ancient tree. She is hot and sweaty as I brush a stray flaxen wisp from her brow. She burrows into my neck and braids her hands into mine. Her hands reside here, quietly settled into the crevices and tributaries of each added year. The experiences felt, the places seen. The tingle, the ache. The joy of first touch and the grief of last. These are my mother’s hands, and my father’s. They are my son’s and my daughter’s.
"I spent so many years feeding him from my plate. Take me. Here I am—a willing servant. I can go without. I can have the scraps. I can find a way for it to be plenty. I can be a shell."
... no words.
We are the ocean itself. Beautiful, as always.