First, you will need a lake:
Preferably one in which you once flapped fish-like, laughter lifting in iridescent bubbles from your lips.
Best results are achieved mid-summer, when days feel like new clothes you are trying on.
You will also need:
An infant whose buoyancy is limitless.
A father with a never-ending capacity for love.
A mother who adores them both.
Dip the baby in the lake —
that baptismal font of past generations whose sloughed-off atoms may yet be felt.
The sun will bless you with its warmth.
Swirl the baby through the water; kiss and love him well. Hold him
with tender hands. Do not let go. Dip and swirl until
laughter lifts in iridescent bubbles from his lips.
Memory is made from molecules like this.
Repeat as often as you like.
Calorie count is negligible.
About the ingredients:
This is my personal recipe. Your infant/s can be any number, any gender; likewise parental combination. You can add a village. Water can be an ocean.
Love and Laughter should NOT be omitted under any circumstance.
The tree behind us is a dogwood. I know that because a man we encountered on one of our walks told us when we asked. Then he offered to take our picture in front of the tree. Afterwards, he handed the phone back to me and said, “I like seeing people in love.”
My Husband Walking
(musings from my notebook)
On his first morning home from the hospital I listen to the sound of my husband walking, bare feet padding determinedly along the floor. I am reassured by the sound of his footsteps tracing a back and forth route from the laundry room at one end of the house to the kitchen at the other. Instructed to walk a mile every day of his convalescence, he is dedicated to the task. He walks the route several times throughout the day.
After a few days his stride picks up, his heels land stronger, with force enough to rattle the small things cluttering the table and the desktop. A few days more and he graduates to walking the driveway. I cannot hear his footsteps outside. I realize I miss the sound.
Weeks before my husband’s surgery, we began walking. We needed the time together, the closeness, the exercise – all of it to be ready for whatever was to come. Yesterday, the thirteenth day after his surgery, he had the catheter and staples removed. There is still work ahead to get him back to where he was, but I look forward to our renewed walking in the evening again.
Today is our anniversary. Today we have been married for thirty years. It’s impossible to calculate how many miles we’ve accumulated in our walking through all that time. Sometimes, I wonder how we’ve managed such a feat. And then I remember this:
“Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.” ~~ Antoine de Saint-Expuery
And I realize that that is the thing that has gotten us to where we are, that looking outward in the same direction. Here’s to us walking, looking outward together for thirty more.