Morning at the sea. Solo swimming under the water, arms and legs going like a fish's would, if a fish had little Solo shaped arms and legs. Solo jumping in the waves, never minding if he goes under, bobbing up again and wiping the water off his face. Remembering him in his bed the other night, his eyelashes just before he slept. "I had a pet penguin," he told me. One last tale for the day. "But it died. Also a pet chicken and bird. But they died too."
Sitting next to Kid A while he digs a watery sink hole in the sand, telling me about how he was afraid for those minutes when he and Leafy were getting pulled out on their board, and they couldn't get back in.
Me telling him, "You were so calm, you didn't panic. You just listened to me and floated back to me." Feeling so proud of him.
YaYa playing with all the babies. Pointing out the sandpipers. "Mama! Sandpipers!" Sandpipers and a flock of some other kind of bird, flying above the water like a dream.
Two Ukrainian kids talking and talking with us. In Russian. Wishing I could understand them, enjoying them as they bubbled over and laughed and played with us in the sea.
Early afternoon at Miriam's house. Talking about the garden, eating cookies and drinking coffee. Kids playing a card game. Solo getting into everything, Solo hiding under the purple cushions.
Late afternoon in the garden. More butterflies than ever. The new plants doing well, including a volunteer orange tree that we replanted. (Kid A spits his mandarin seeds in the garden. A plant sprung up between two bricks. Last week we extricated it and YaYa and Leafy replanted it. I realized after they dug the hole and filled it back up that I hadn't done a thing.)
Walking to the store with YaYa and Solo for tomato sauce. YaYa pointing out all the chickens along the way: the ones roosting on someone's house, the baby chicks among the old coconut shells. Looking for kingfishers in the big field.
Leafy, while I was gone, not sure where I was, saying, "Maybe Mama went to Manhattan." Getting into a conversation with him and Kid A later: If I had boarded a boat to Manhattan, how long would it have taken to get there?
YaYa setting the table without being asked. Kid A having to be told three times the proper way to put books on a shelf. Still not getting them on there straight (now that I look again.) Telling stories of funny things they said when they were younger. Me thinking I didn't write enough of them down.
Thinking about baby names. YaYa calling, "Group hug!" Painful, elbows on the belly. More talk of the baby, (3 lbs now!) more dreaming about what he will be like. Talking about birth with everyone, Solo declaring confidently that he knows where the baby will come from! Lifting up my shirt, "Her bellybutton!" like a movie of a four year old kid. Telling him the real story. YaYa saying, "So that's what that hole is for!" Me with raised eyebrows, we've had the talk so many times, but they always forget. They know more about how dolphins and seahorses mate than people.
Chinua coming home from meditation on the beach. Telling of an impromptu gospel song session, a great big circle of people. A pang of regret. I wish I had been there. I can't be everywhere. It's never been possible.
A night "cool off" drive on the scooter. More emotions than I can name churning through me. Lights on houses, a sign that says, "Birthday cakes however you wish." A man sitting and playing with his tiny naked baby. The smell of warm trees cooling off in the night air. Love and despair present around every corner.
I won't make it, I think. This is too much life, too much of it rolling around me, unstoppable, like the uncontrolled intersections here, the old men under the tree, the girl checking her dress out in the glass of a giant Mary shrine, the birds in the sky, in the sea, in the fields. But we do make it, day by day by day. We do it clumsily and beautifully, pressed in on every side by the thick, heavy presence of God, of love, by the knowledge of how small we are, and yet, how big.