Ritual

By Kelly Morse

July 7, 2014

Ritual

Most nights I nurse my four-month-old daughter to sleep. The internet connection is terrible in our bedroom, the light thrown by the little green glass lamp not enough to read by, so I end up sitting in the semi-dark, looking across the bed to the window, or down upon the face of my baby in her steady, drowsy pleasure. The first couple of months, I listened to the dry rattle that preceded the radiator's strange atonal song. I watched ice crawl up the sill, watched storms fling themselves across the prairie, flapping tree limbs across the neighbor's outside light. Recently I realized this half hour is one of the few spent away from the presence of a computer or smart phone. Sometimes I study the crazy quilt I bought in a grange hall in Oregon long ago; sometimes our grey cat curls up against my knees. I wait until the drawbridge of my daughter's little jaw unwinds, letting in sleep's procession. Her fleece footie pajamas have given way to cotton, then to just a onesie, her chubby toes flexing against my elbow. Tonight as I sit in the warm darkness, watching her and watching my mind again turn over the blue sheets and the crumpled world of the quilt like a hand would a river stone, I hear them: spring's first frogs.

 

Photo "Shabby Chic Crazy Quilt Detail" provided by peregrine blue, via Flickr creative commons license.

Comments (7) - Post a Comment
Lovely— spinning threads in the crazy quilt of memory and experience, time and place.
Deborah Curtiss at 9:09am EDT - July 7, 2014
Achingly beautiful. Settling so utterly into presence that in the end we get the frogs. Perfect.
Marilyn Bousquin at 11:17am EDT - July 7, 2014
Drawbridge jaw unwinding. Unique and apt. I would never have thought of those words, but immediately I know that letting go, that slackening into sleep.
Andrea Mummert at 2:43pm EDT - July 7, 2014
This is so beautiful to read on Monday morning before I go to my writing desk. Inspiration of language and mood. Love the progression of time through the meditation.
Judy Reeves at 3:04pm EDT - July 7, 2014
What lovely insight you have shared! This is beautiful, so beautiful.
Connie at 7:19pm EDT - July 8, 2014
I remember watching a sweet face as dawn was peeking fingers of morning across a still sky, looking up to see the cardinals dipping down to peer at the grass and pick their fill. Our time - only you and me in the whole world, and the quiet before yet another busy day of you doing miraculous things, like smiling. Cardinals will always remind me of you.
Mom at 10:29pm EDT - July 9, 2014
Beautiful and complete---or, ready to go on. What's stunning here is the language and they way the reader is brought right onto the bed.
Joan Cenedella at 9:57pm EDT - June 27, 2017


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