Last night my nine-year-old asked for a bedtime snuggle. My mother-heart, despite lagging lately, responded unequivocally Yes. He’s my youngest. I know the quick tick of time. His elementary-hood shrinks as he shrugs taller. Who is emerging? A boy I am only beginning to see. He dashes, gum-chewing-while-geometry-cramming one moment, scootering around the house the next, crouching to calibrate his drone then slam dunking pillows on his sister’s head and pivoting to play the piano. His is a fleeting that mirrors the seasons. It is delicious and very soon gone.
At least here where I live, February has been everything at once: winter, spring, summer, fall, all in one week. One day it’s 85 degrees, the next day near snow, followed by a mild mid-60’s to a chill 34. As Adrienne Rich once wrote, “The moment of change is the only poem.” Read the beauty between the lines.
This month for poetry we have a few gems from the archives: a heart-stretching tanka about a beautiful baby in “Princess” by Krista Clement. On the other hand, “In Situ” by Ellen Kartchner Gregory, talks of toddlers and teenagers, a mother who slides “that thin slope down, and down, down,” finding answers evasive, like the wind. Our prose essay comes from Sherilyn Olsen remembering her foremothers in “Living the Bucket Life, or Why We Reenact a Pioneer Trek.” She recounts with joy and rejoicing her experiences; join her discoveries, it’s worth the trek.
Our feature this month is “My Body has Many Names” by Ashmae Hoiland, where she muses on her place between generations: her ancestors before her and her current and future children, “I watch my children run through grass, rooted and flowering a hundred times daily, and I am ever so curious about them, what they are growing into.” Resplendent, expectant, she nods to the ineffable nature of life, the unknowability of her past and future.
One thing childhood, motherhood, and literature know is that growth happens. Inevitable mutability. Continual movement Towards Some Great Thing. Our journal offerings this month reach toward the same. The unequivocal Yes. And a fleeting like the seasons we can lean into. Challenging? Absolutely. But also ephemeral and sublime.