Eleven years ago, my family had a member injured in a woods accident, involving a nighttime search and rescue, and myself driving to the ER at two in the morning with my two-year-old in the back of my old Volvo.
Of that time, I remember many things — in particular that so many people I knew had chainsaw accidents, men and women, that people compulsively shared with me.
That family member healed; our lives moved along. But every year, that shadow of how very badly things might have gone awry for us, in a few single moments, moves over me.
So, it’s with particular satisfaction that my two-year-old is now thirteen, and spent a recent night sleeping with her friend on a trampoline. All around them, the coyotes howled, and the sky, unbroken in the rural dark, was radiant with shooting stars. At three in the morning, cold and covered with a heavy dew, the girls ran into the friend’s house, laughing, and fell asleep again.
Just simply alive,
Both of us, I
And the poppy.