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.

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