A mother I don’t know particularly well commented recently that she feels so old, seeing her daughter head off to college, and I thought, Really? While babies and little ones are darling and endearing, those so-intense early mothering years wore me down. Now, as my oldest blooms into her own young adulthood, I’m able to take a kind of pleasure I couldn’t when she was younger. Maybe it’s just me, learning how to stand back , or I’m beginning to accept her life is her own birthright, that my daughter is the master of her destiny – not me. Maybe, simply, I’m learning to elbow away perpetual fears and take joy.

At a breakfast of crêpes, my younger daughter read aloud the word of the day: oenomel: something combining strength with sweetness.

I laughed. That’s me, I said. Or least what I’m aiming for!

.. to a poet, the human community is like the community of birds to a bird, singing to each other. Love is one of the reasons we are singing to one another, love of language itself, love of sound, love of singing itself, and love of the other birds.

– Sharon Olds

Hardwick, Vermont