i was home early yesterday, angry at just stuff, needing to get away, home early enough to catch the 4 year old next door, his hands full of wildflowers and red camellias, home early enough to have a conversation with him. to hear him explain to me the importance of daffodils, to watch him defy his mother and climb onto the rackety bridge-that-really-isn't, to tell him i had no idea where the water comes from or why the ladder was standing where it was. he finally gave in to his mother and turned to go home, but then turned back to me to tell me to replant my flowers when they died, and next year i would have more. i couldn't believe how tall he'd grown.
when my niece was that age, she and my mother stopped by, and we all walked to the arts and crafts fair, up the road a ways, through fallen dogwood blossoms and scattered springtime everythings, my niece picking up everything, enchanted by it all. this year she leaves for college, time gone that quickly.
this morning that was supposed to be rainy is only gray, the rain maybe not here until tomorrow. a friend messaged to say say a prayer for me, she on her way to the hospital to check on the illness she has been battling. the tears i'd been holding back, the ones because my niece is all grown up, finally fell. my prayer contained a lot of pleases and i don't knows, but please. today i am the rain.
the yesterday 4 year old's mother wants a camellia tree or bush, and i'd said a pale pink one, and yes!, she'd replied. just minutes ago i watched her sneak across the street to the tulip tree and steal a bulb or two or three, scurrying back home through the chill. she'd promised me stealing rights to the camellia tree in her future, and i like to think i gave her ideas.