Pandemic Journal 3/8/2020 — Thunderstruck! (a letter to my daughter on her birthday)

1

Under a heat-blasted blue sky on my morning ravine walk, I hear a clap of thunder.

The sound arrives like an invitation to write birthday wishes to my darling daughter who brings me joy — always.

Dear Daughter,

You astonish me and

I am thunderstruck.

I’ve chosen my words advisedly, for the verb “to astonish” is rooted in the Latin phrase ex tonare from ex “out” + tonare “to thunder”.

To astonish is to render someone thunderstruck.

You astonish me. I celebrate 
your clarity and questing, 
your determination and resilience, 
your spirited intelligence, 
your insight and beauty, 
your wit, 
your thoughtful 
kindness and care.

      - ❤️ - 

2

My often privileged life is long enough to have had many ups and downs over almost seventy years including navigating the unevenly distributed challenges of this global pandemic. My daughter is the highlight of my life well-lived. I am grateful for the gifts of adoption, for the lifetime of love that ties us together.
Photos: Cypress Provincial Park, British Columbia, by Sierra Schumann

My often privileged life is long enough to have had many ups and downs over almost seventy years including navigating the unevenly distributed challenges of this global pandemic.

You are the highlight of my life well-lived.

I am grateful for the gifts of adoption, for the lifetime of love that ties us together.

Adoption means journeys of unsettling relations. The time lost between places.

I remain humbled by the sacrifice of your first mother and family.

Adoption means love refracted within a space, the dailyness of our home. And now, at a distance, maternal and filial love anchor us in a sea of conversation.

3

Last night in a prairie city at latitude 53, the Rocky Mountains between us, I made you a dinner in a garden full of blooms. I celebrate you in solitude as I chop and roast the peppers and leeks and potatoes and carrots and beans and broccoli and garlic and ginger and chilli and sesame oil and home-grown lemon grass and coriander and parsley and thyme. I know you would appreciate my care.

In your absence, I await the rise of a waning full moon. And drink a glass of Luna Argento Prosecco left for me the other night by friends.

Luna Argento

the silver
moon
the loony moon
that cycles through 
to change
to slip into night 
and rise to fall 
towards the light 
of this new day.

The moon waxes
and waves — 
everything changes
but love remains.

4

The mother in me has encouraged you 
to explore the world 
with my blessings 
(and a measure of lingering 
narcissistic regret)...

you’ve flown the coop and skipped town
yet you remain 
here — 

in my heart — 

a bird
out of the blue
perched 
on a palm —

lend me a hand
to fly.

5

And speaking of flying….

As the panemonium of rain and thunder in this massive August evening storm rises, thunderstruck, I think about some marvelous advice that lasts a lifetime.

I send this to you, dear daughter, with love…

“You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.”

— Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon

4 thoughts on “Pandemic Journal 3/8/2020 — Thunderstruck! (a letter to my daughter on her birthday)”

    1. Thank you dear teacher. I am this sad fool who says ‘Tada’ and writes… xoxo

      Like

  1. Hi Janice,

    This was a beautiful letter to Bao on her birthday.

    All of your posts are something to look forward to and savour. You almost seem to lead a charmed life with lovely walks, beautiful garden, scrumptious food and tons of friends. I’ve tried calling you a couple of times and you are obviously out. Your food is especially exciting. We seem to only eat stuff our garden produces but you have at least 6 other interesting ingredients to add to everything.

    I always want to share with you how great you are and what a wonderful critical and creative mind you have. You are an inspiration!

    My garden is going great guns now that it’s hot. Some images.

    Love, hugs, Lyndal

    We eat a lot like rabbits

    >

    Like

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