The best July of my life . . .

Was milk sweat and nipple sore. It was a toddler picking onion tops and a baby opening his eyes. It was no sleep and yes, coffee. Walks about town and a singular visit to the grocery store. July was Bob Marley, Erykah Badu and D’Angelo filling the house. It was the newborn dance of rock and sway, rock and sway. It was dad falling deeper in love with daughter. Sunflowers unfurling in the side yard, in the backyard, in the garden beds; Flowers, generally. Mosquito bites and supper in a blue dining room. It was crying, all of us. Crying, laughing, kissing, marveling.
July was growing a family.



June 1

June was . . . 
Laying our girl on the floor, naked as she came, underneath the big, happy peace lily. I watched her watching. I experienced her learning. I listened to what she was hearing. Her shoulders arched back and her head tipped upwards, trying with her newfound neck strength to see what lie behind her. Not only was she incapable of leaving her post on the floor, but in that moment she did not want to. She was content to hear her own voice, feel the softness of the goat pelt on her back, see the summer green of the peace lily, smell the air, touch her belly and taste her hand. It's easy to believe the five senses mean something different — more, maybe — to a baby. Her little body seemed to always be perspiring, and I can understand why: it's summer; she's growing. 

Dutch Standard

June was . . . 
A flurry of planting a perennial shade garden and guessing if what grew from seed was wildflower or weed. While we wait to find out, the coneflower blooms. Far and away my favorite flower. Female jays and chipping sparrows visited us every day, but we remain partial to the mourning dove who walks, not flies, up to the feeder. We came to better know two squirrels, Nut Ken (stops by daily since last autumn) and Puné (a recent attraction). One volunteer winter squash has overtaken our compost pile and the better part of our backyard, and though it wreaks havoc on our hands, who are we to halt the forces of nature that want this cucurbit to live? And so it grows. And so it goes.

Botanical Gardens
Blue Morpho

June was . . .
Words becoming action. We threw ourselves into experiments in fermentation, a rising desire in both of our culinary hearts. 30 pounds of carrots and brine went into the crock to become softer, tangier, ferment-ier. One of us started making yeast at home for homebrewing, and the other delved into sourdough. Words became action as we took our small family to a rally, to a lake, to a botanical garden, to witnessing the fireflies outside. We took and we gave. And by June's end, we intuitively sense that our daughter is on the precipice of experiencing sustenance beyond breastmilk alone—a monumental step for all of us—but that's for July.

This was June.