We’re in a holding place, these days of rain and returned cold, the earth sucking up the steady, daily downfall, gradually greening. I tell my daughters the line my mother used when I was a girl, April showers bring May flowers. They appear as unimpressed as I must have seemed, in my own long-ago girlhood.

This school break, after dinner dishes and reading, the 11-year-old is determined to watch all The Lord of the Rings movies again, while eating watermelon. The older sister’s working evenings now, so to keep her company, I sit beside her, finishing up a little more of each day’s work, ridiculously over-occupied in my own adult world.

Last night, my daughter asked me what the heck was happening with Gollum. I glanced at my marked-over pages I had tossed on the rug, where I had written about Buddhism’s Three Poisons. I said simply, He’s gone mad.

Ever pragmatic, this girl studied me. I like the Shire, she said.


This must be every parent’s perfect moment: watching a child asleep and safe from all the storms of the world outside…. I’ve been through enough to know this kind of peace is rare and fleeting. This is all I’ve ever asked of life: just to be here, to achieve this humble goal of harmony… to smell lilacs and the coming rain, to move beyond economics and consumption into dream work, to live as if this life is an open window in spring.

Stephen J. Lyons, Landscape of the Heart


Photo by Gabriela

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