Jane Eyre at Night, Meditation in the Morning


Filled with anxiety, the needling kind that’s come in and out of my body over the last year and a half and not because of the pandemic I went into Sophie’s room and lay beside her. She was sleeping peacefully on her left side, and I lay my hand on her back and began to breathe. Focus on the hands. I breathed in and out, calming myself in and smiling out. Focus on the feet. Sophie stirred but my hand on her back was insistent. I thought of her baby head the curls my hand on it willing always willing my own and hers our wills receiving and giving willing something (intent) to be willing (receive) the hands of a healer and shouldn’t I feel a swoosh a power would that I could that I will. I’ve been reading Jane Eyre aloud to Sophie at night. It was my favorite book as a child, the one I reference in my mind as the one in which I was first lost. I read Jane Eyre with Sophie at night and I meditate with her in the morning.

Our hummingbird’s jellybean eggs hatched two babies that slept, their eyes closed until one morning they disappeared. I thought I heard a Cooper’s hawk, exultant, its screech familiar but it wasn’t until later, after I’d climbed the ladder and looked into the nest, said to Carl, it’s empty and he said, what do you mean it’s empty? and I said, maybe they’ve flown? and he said no, they were too young to have flown it must have been a Cooper’s Hawk and we both felt sad but nature, we said. Or, Nature. Carl pointed out some scattered feathers of a mourning dove around the tree and then a flattened carcass of a bird. He probably ate that and then got the babies. I wondered inappropriately whether the babies were first, an amuse-bouche, even as I felt sad, the ineffable sadness of the empty nest. The hummingbird mother still hovered still perched near the nest motherering. A couple of days later, I clipped the branch that held the nest and brought it inside. It was so beautiful there on the tree its life inside but I perhaps shouldn’t have taken it in because it’s already fading.

I’ve traveled through the cool airports of the world for the first time in what seems like years to watch my son Henry graduate from college. My other son is here, too, and last night I left them together horsing around. Do you have a jacket for Oliver? I asked through the car window, it’s so cold. Oliver said, God, mom, I’m fine. To Henry, a whole body eye-roll, She’s driving me crazy. And Henry, She’s just being a mom. She’s our mother.