Robin Songs

Certain Saturdays at my library the parents arrive with their babies, the little ones dressed up in their cutest outfits — fox prints, flowered rainbows, little ears on hoods.

The enthusiastic parents are as likely to talk about politics or soil chemistry as teething and sleep patterns.

They are all so new, parents and babies alike, that I’m a little awed, a bit overwhelmed at times, just by their sheer niceness.

My soul is not new, ragged and hardworn like the leather on my favorite pair of boots — been around. I mean this entirely without judgement, as I expect 19 years into parenting, these folks will be a bit ground down, too — although likely just as lovely.

And yet…. it’s spring. While the crocuses haven’t yet bloomed by our house, the avian life is bursting. Herons, turkey vultures, redwing blackbirds. Robins sing in a maple, a pure and unadulterated melody of beauty — no past, no future, simply there.

What a strange thing!
to be alive
beneath cherry blossoms.



Photo by Molly S.


Midwinter Lady Moon

Winter moon… in my novel, the Lovely Lady Moon appears from the beginning so frequently I think of her as a character, too. The other night, I lay reading in bed for the longest time, and then my brother started that texting thing again. He has this way of texting like no one else I know: as if he wraps his deepest, pithiest, and often funniest words in a rag, knots it up with twine and rock, and chucks it over the Connecticut River to me. Afterwards, I lay in the cold room under a thick wool blanket, staring through that uncurtained window, thinking of those words of my brother’s, his phrases of what had given him a sweet, rare joy that day.

I learned to follow the moon’s phases all those myriad March nights of sugaring, as I hurried back and forth from the house to the sugarhouse, over treacherous ice and sucking mud, beneath her radiance…. which channeled into all those nights I was awake with nursing or sick children, my eyes watching the moon as she rose and arced and descended through my slender view of the cosmos.

Those nights, in my rural house, I wondered about other women all over the planet who were awake with their babies, feeding and tending these tiny beings, their faces turned up to Lady Moon’s pristine presence – utterly familiar, uncrackably mysterious, infinitely beyond the touch of our hands. Steady as clockwork, infallible, she beams on: a beacon.

Bright Moon

                                                                after Buson  #843

Cold is the bright moon
All those trees
and this vast sky.



Photo by Molly S./West Woodbury, Vermont