Seventeen Times I Felt Reverence.
(Inspired by a beautiful part in a beautiful book, 100 Birds Taught Me To Fly, called, “Twelve Times I Prayed.”)
My sister, C, holding my baby, singing, “I’m just a little black rain cloud, hovering under the honey tree. I’m only a little black rain cloud. Pay no attention to little me.” A young neighbor boy putting his arm around my confused toddler daughter, helping her to the stage for her first musical number, and then to the very front. A returned sister missionary speaking, the first in her ward for over twelve years. Her father’s testimony: “I hope Joseph Smith is a true prophet. I hope the Book of Mormon is true. I hope the priesthood has been restored.” Standing in the kitchen, mourning with my mother after her cat, Chekov, died. Watching the Perseid meteor shower with my parents, and my mother using her spied stars to make individual wishes for each of her seven children and fourteen grandchildren. A conversation over smoothies and popcorn. An old friend changing my babe’s soiled diaper. Reading Ada Twist, Scientist to my daughter. Reading 1oo Birds Taught Me to Fly to myself. Sitting in a room filled with original Brian Kershisnik paintings, crying, while two love-filled women listened. My sister, L, helping me the next morning as I frantically packed. A friend’s poem piechart: rebuild, rebuild, rebuild, rebuild, rebuild. Listening to Carol Lynn Pearson read her poem, “Pioneers,” in person, before singing her primary song “I’ll Walk With You” with the gathered women. An invitation to a gala I wanted to attend, but couldn’t otherwise afford. A friend and mentor hugging me while I cried, and her whispering, “Anything you need.” My daughter wearing white booties in the Hartford temple, pressing her face and hands against glass, peeking down at the oxen.