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A Volley Happening Between Mother and Daughter in the Place We Call Home

Posted Nov 29 2009 10:00pm

After years now of garden expansion, my backyard lawn slipping away with each new bed and border planted, lacrosse sticks have suddenly entered my home, a brand new (to us), out-of-left-field pursuit in which my older daughter is now participating. And so it was that I found myself out there among the rosemary and broccoli rabe, the lemon balm and lacinato kale, tossing a small, heavy, neon pink ball from my netted stick head to hers as far away as she could stand without falling into the compost pile.

The stillness of the late afternoon and the golden hue of the sky, the light starting to dim, was punctuated by the gentle thwump of the ball passing, a swishing cradle action holding it in place, a volley happening between mother and daughter at an age when we can't always talk, although we try. With each ball drop, I scooped up more of the fragrance of what we are all about, of the land which we have nurtured, of the very essence of our souls, in the place we call home. Oregano. French tarragon. Lemon thyme. Chives. Every smell a shared memory.

As the light faded too much for my aging eyes, and the sticks and ball got put away, although there is not yet any official "away" for these new houseguests in our lives, my daughter and I smiled and said that was fun and let's do it again another day. And as she went back to her life, her friends, her thoughts, and I went back to mine, I noticed that my hands smelled of cilantro.
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