Monday Morning, Still Dark

My older daughter cut her literary teeth reading Mercy Watson chapter books to her younger sister — silly stories about a pig who loved stacks of hot buttered toast. We were homeschooling then, and that winter, the girls spread on the rug before the wood stove. Read, the little one begged. One more chapter! 

Monday mornings in March didn’t mean all that much when we were homeschooling. Sap held every bit of meaning for us in those days. Now the older daughter hurries off before dawn to clinicals, full of excitement.

Fed, the cats sprawl on the sleeping younger sister. Fittingly, the striped feline who loves this child best also miraculously appears at the scent of toasting bread, hungry for melting butter.

Another year is gone;
and I still wear
straw hat and straw sandal.

— Bashō