Saturday, August 24, 2013


Today may be one of the most lovely of days.  The air is warm but not humid; there's a breeze and a slant of light that suggests the threshold of summer and fall.  The taste of the air and the energy of Bostonians out enjoying the amazing weather reminded me that East Coasters have fervor for beautiful days, seizing the opportunity to be outside and doing it up right, spreading blankets in the grass, crowding outdoor eateries, boating, swimming, running, playing.  Smiling.

I left the air-conditioned hospital after feeding Tootsie to run some errands (how normal!), and found my face greeted by warm sun and friendly people.  I had an irresistible urge to jog or skip, and instead, celebrated my serendipitously glorious day with a soy chocolate fudge ice cream cone from J.P. Licks (the most awesome texture and flavor!  I heard a passerby tell her friend as she watched me lick my cone, "Quiero uno!").

I headed down Charles Street to the Public Gardens, where a friend of my former student who attends Berklee College of Music does a poetry exchange on the bridge--he'll write you a poem and you write one back (amid the other "buskers," including balloon men, musicians, jugglers, etc.).  Alas, he wasn't there, though I was writing poetry in my head as I walked and swooned over my soy ice cream.  I admired the swan boats, the geese, the families, the flowers, the few trees adopting fall colors, and the joy of my current life--healthy children and husband at home, beautiful growing baby here, almost ready to reunite with her family.

I picked up some photos I ordered from the drugstore near the hospital, and traveled the familiar route back to the main entrance, pausing to admire some fluffy-plump birds splashing and frolicking in a filthy puddle in the street.  They seemed to feel as I did about the day and I caught the eye of a woman headed in the other direction and we grinned at each other.

Back in the lounge kitchen adjacent to the NICU I ran into the gentleman who restocks the drinks and delivers our meals--my friend the "Reader with a Capital R."  I told him how wonderful it was outside and asked him about his day.  Did he have any time to read?  Too busy, he replied.  I have a book recommendation for you, I shared.  It's a book I bought for Big Sis, among a stack of young adult titles recommended by someone, somewhere (need to figure that out again!), which she read while she was here and insisted that my sister and her husband read as well. They in turn told me I must read it, too.  And now I want the world to pick it up and discuss.  It was a perfect read for me with a baby in the NICU.

It's called Wonder, I told my hospital friend.  "I love the title already," he responded, "Wonder is something we have as children.  Something I grew up with in Haiti.  But we lose it as adults.  Machines get between us and nature."  (I'm thinking now of one of my favorite poems, Wordsworth's "The World is Too Much with Us":  Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers/Little in nature we see that is ours).

It's a beautiful book, I told him.  It will make you happy.

Thank you, Big Sis, for the strong endorsement.  Thank you, Boston, for this afternoon.  Thank you, my body, for healing so that I want to skip and run and jump today.

My mother will be here in only a few hours.  I CANNOT WAIT for her and Tootsie to gaze at each other.  With wonder.

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