Monday, February 15, 2010


Reading Michelle Cooper's 'A Brief History of Montmaray' this week I came across this very timely quote: "I always step warily, taking care not to look down through the gaps where the slats have rotted away (it's not the heights I mind as much as the depths)." The main character, Sophia, goes on to quote Kipling, 'The spent deep feigns her rest.' Sophia and her family are living on the island in a castle. With the cliffs and sea all around, it's easy to see why both would be very present in her thoughts. Water is always at the back of my mind, even in the dead of winter when all the currents have ceased to flow. Here in Vermont, the river that divides us from new Hampshire is quite scenic, providing panoramic views with a mountainous backdrop. I often wished we lived closer to the ocean where the depths are beyond imagining. But visiting the frozen river reminds me that way down deep there is still a trickle of movement. And as the snow begins to thaw the roar will return, and once again the water will move on its way to meet the sea.

Luca is the child most likely to jump into the deep end of the pool without wondering whether or not he can swim. He's also the one who will share at least half of whatever he loves - candy, chocolate milk, stuffed animals - with whoever happens to be sitting next to him. His heart is huge, his will is strong, and his courage comes naturally. He's the boy I worry about both the most and the least. "Mommy, when will I die?" he asks every few days. Not concerned, just curious. "Not for many, many, many years," I tell him. Like it's an order. Like I have any real control over the date and time of his eventual demise. One thing I can do - teach him how to swim. Because someday he won't be held afloat with any life jacket.

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