Thursday mosaic / by Christina Rosalie

I come in the front door like a river in flood season. The urge to be wrapped up in the embrace of my small sweet family so huge, it pulls me away from meetings today—away from places I should really be, but can’t because my heart is in my throat with love and longing. I swallow hard when I come through the door, and there they are: my two guys. They’re upstairs today, in the rocking chair. Bean’s hair is damp from the quick heat that always rises in him before sleep. I've upset the nap plans.

“Mama!” he calls out, and a smile as bright and pure as the flight of swallows, arcs across the room from him to me. I reach out for him. DH wraps his arms around both of us, and for a minute there we are, just breathing. Then we wrestle on the bed for a while, feeling the weight and warmth of each other.

When we go downstairs we are a flurry of arms and legs and knees, making snack. We’re a tall family, the three of us, and already, Bean’s head comes up above the dining room table. He’s standing on the rungs of the stool now, by the counter, wanting to help me make chocolate milk and peanut butter and jelly tortilla roll-ups. The light outside is perfect: the last of the maples are the most exquisite hue of orange in the late afternoon sun, and the light falls across the room in long slanting rays.

We go for a walk along our dirt road which is thick with new mud from the first real rains of autumn. They say snow is in the forecast for tomorrow, but I can’t believe it. Today the air has that perfect crispness to it, not too cold, but sharp enough to make you feel alive. We walk a little over a mile to where the cattle are grazing in knee-high mist. Among them are two water buffalo that are quite friendly, and when they see us, they amble over, grunting in their earthy way. They lick the salt off our hands with their rough tongues, and eye Bean curiously in his running stroller. We promise to bring them windfall apples next time.

On the way back, we walk with our arms around each other’s waists the way we used to do in college and it makes me smile.