When my nephew began to crawl, he would come to me. Everyone else propped him up on their hips where he would float around in standard fashion, giggling or crying according to the standard elements. But he could count on me to lift and place him high on my shoulders where he could survey the area with a superior view.
“A breathing dirigible for laughing and wailing…”
We found “Eating the Alphabet: Fruits & Vegetables from A to Z” by Lois Ehlert, and things were never the same. The book is a series of bright, bold, watercolor paintings of fruits and vegetables alongside their corresponding first letters. Artichokes, Apples, Avocados, Bananas, Beets, Bok Choy, and so on, from the common to the obscure, to the elusive. We began searching for and sampling any and all of them we could find, starting at the salad bar, then the grocery store, next the Asian, Latino, African and Middle Eastern markets near and far, and finally, in the garden. The ones we couldn’t find, we ordered seeds for, planted and harvested ourselves. And over the years, it’s become apparent that he is the real garden, nourishing our spirits as we help him grow.
“The garden was spirit and spoke through the dirt in the field. If in summer did land on her belly our breathing and await the arrival of sprout from the seedling, how she gifted our homes with her body and meaning, and under it all was the mystery of being alive…”
So when I landed a role in a two-year tour, I had him out to a number of places. Philly, DC, VA, NC, AZ, CO, CA, MO; he was one well-traveled 5 year old. But I also missed him badly. Stolen from the poem by Victor Hugo, the English translation below.
Demain, dès l’aube, à l’heure où blanchit la campagne,
Je partirai. Vois-tu, je sais que tu m’attends.
J’irai par la forêt, j’irai par la montagne.
Je ne puis demeurer loin de toi plus longtemps.
Tomorrow, at dawn, in the hour when the countryside becomes white,
I will leave. You see, I know that you are waiting for me.
I will go by the forest, I will go by the mountain.
I cannot stay far from you any longer.
Our site has a player with the tune on it…