Friday, September 30, 2011
A Sea of Love
That's my daughter on the right, her work boots perched on a sturdy strand of rope, her body leaning into what might be called a trestletree as she furls a sail. What you can't see in this photo is the churning ocean--or me on the deck watching her and trying to fathom how I became the mother of a tall-ship sailor. My element is dirt. Iowa black dirt. Fields of corn as vast as an ocean. Little towns rising up out of the green like islands. C's element is definitely the sea. She loved it from the first time I took her to the beach the summer she was a year and a half old. I held her in my arms and dipped her in the salty water, then wrapped her in a towel and laid her on the warm sand under an umbrella for a nap. Her love of water and the ocean was one of the first things I understood about her. The rest has come much more slowly, and will, I suspect, continue to be a work in progress. Understanding does not always come quickly between mother and child even when love is boundless.
C. is getting married a week from Saturday. The sea of family love is so deep and so wide right now, so clear and blue that it can barely be distinguished from sky. Tomorrow morning my younger daughter will set out from her northern city and drive east, picking up her grandmother from her eastern city, and later one of C's friends. On Thursday my son and his wife will bundle up their three kids, leave the desert behind and board a plane. About the same time the man who loves me and I will get on our flight from Los Angeles. There will be aunts and uncles, cousins and friends finding their way east by land, by air, and for all I know, by boat. And we will all end up on the rocky coast of Maine to witness two sailors pledge their love to one another.
Love. I feel like I'm swimming in it.
Photo credit: Mr. Ex