“he doesn’t like going for walks with me anymore,” she laughs, friend with the blue socks poking from vintage shoes, “because i always talk about the light, how i can never quite capture it.”

we’re walking in the sand-hills and the light is just right on this saturday in may and our boys, one week apart, are wagon-riding the back-roads of a woods garbled with berry and branch. we’ve come by ferry to this place by the river, the hills of sand dotted by dirt bikes and tents and it’s 10 minutes from our house but it feels close to heaven.

we talk of color, of the way pink lifts blue off canvas, makes the sky alight with bright that sounds like birds and our 18-month-boys laugh at the bumps on the trail and our husbands talk of book and game, and we, of art and the way it fills in our gaps.

she’s wearing pink pearls she’s had since she was five, and it’s time for chocolate brownies and watermelon and sons running in sand with bare toes that blend flesh with the hill…

and there’s no hurry, nowhere to be except for here in this giant box of sand with the river running through it and our lips are stained brown.

“would you like Lief to call you aunty? or friendy?” she asks on the ferry-ride home, the boat that’s a historic landmark which crosses the athabasca from spring to fall, the boat trent’s grandfather once operated. “aunty,” i tell her, because we are related in ways deeper than blood.

and i want our sons to know this. the way their mothers notice things like light and color, and the way they are our pink, making the blue lift so that the whole world dawns bright with sky.

thanking, with her:

371. artist-friends
372. my womb-child’s healthy heartbeat
373. rows of seeds peering green faces up
374. the smell of tomato plants
375. the feel of dirt on skin
376. an agent who sticks, who promises, who prays
377. a husband who holds me as i struggle to sleep
378. sunlight in the morning
379. homemade bread with peanut butter and honey
380. a commissioned painting