God, Ghosts, Aliens

My daughters start a fire in the rock pit in our yard at the end of a sunny day, a day of hiking and laughter, of putting away a gorgeous onion harvest, of weeding and transplanting daisies from a friend, of painting the lower barn door blue (please, mom, why not just white?)

There’s no one else, no visitors, no company stopping by, just the three of us cooking outside sprawling on the grass as the dusk gradually filters down and pulls out the brilliance of pink zinnias, a tangle of nasturtiums, gold in a maple in the cemetery. We’ve nowhere else to go but into the house and sleep.

My older daughter shares a conversation she had with her coworkers that night, about the probably of God, of ghosts, of UFOs, and the girls dive into what they’ve read about Roswell.

Under my bare feet, the grass holds the day’s warm sunlight yet. Listening, I remember the barren patches in this grass when we moved in. The grass is lush now, like a well-tended cat’s fur.

My younger daughter, with a new kind of adolescent edginess, announces her own nihilism. I offer, But here’s the rub there: what about life? What about youand then I wise up and shut up. A few tendrils of mist settle into the valley below us. In the night, rain will move in, but for now, it’s just us and the sunlight, and all that evening ahead.

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