How can it be that our wee grandbabe is more than a week old? And yet, holding him, I know that he has grown. I feel a surge of pride for him, and for his mommy and daddy. He is beautiful, healthy and strong. But secretly I hope he is not in too much of a hurry to stretch out of my arms. I know how quickly this season will pass.

I departed for Denver and returned again with Ollie on my mind. I missed his sweet warmth, tightly swaddled against my heart, his downy soft hair nestled under my chin. I sang to him from 30,000 feet, under my breath, hoping to stay off the nutso radar. (Surely they monitor that, too?) Airborn, I felt a loss, oddly adrift. How does that happen so quick?

Work in Denver was all good. It was a great event surrounded by both friends and colleagues, so many of whom are one and the same. But Denver is so high and dry that sleep eludes me. This trip always exhausts me. The return was more challenging than usual. We rose at an insane hour for an early flight. We were delayed several hours for mechanical failures that occurred, fortunately, on the ground. I fell gratefully into bed nearly twenty hours later, safe and sound. But it was some time before I could sleep. A long day, indeed.

Followed by another short night — my February plight, it would seem. I awoke a couple of hours in, Oliver’s poem spilling over the precipice of my mind. I knew it would come, with enough time. I have been waiting, watching, wondering; every moment when he is near contemplating the words that might be his. Phrases fell into place as bits of snow formed into a storm outside my window. We both worked silently through the dark of night, mother nature and I. When I finally drifted off, dawn was struggling to emerge in a world drifted white. And Oliver’s poem was settling into the light.

~ René Morley

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