8 seconds

I would have liked a long time to relate this story, to unfold as slowly and dreamlike as it occurred. But, as always, my time is limited, I need to get work done, and I want to return to the current story I’m working on and tackle the next section.

Yesterday, M, 9 months, was too fussy for anything but a long walk. We took a different route, heading straight up the hill of Shadow Valley Drive. We reached the crest, and I could see two women walkers talking. One went off into a house, and the other approached us. She was white haired, hatted like me, and approached us asking “who’s this!?”

She tried to get M to interact with her but he was not having it… ok. this story is still taking too long:

She walked with us, and then we turned down her street, which looped back around to the road I needed to take. We stopped by her house, one of the beauties I envy when I’m walking up that way. She told me about her international travels, how she’d watched the wildebeest migration, how when a calf is born on migration, it has 8 seconds to suckle, stand, and run, or it will be taken down by predators.

She said you think you know love before you have children, but there is nothing like it.

She said her second marriage, which was also her husband’s second, and her late conception of a child, gave them a second chance, a chance to do it right.

As we bumped about her gorgeous house, her showing us this and that thing, still trying to gull M out of his mood, I thought about how much I wanted one of those big homes up the mountain, with a view and porch. But I hadn’t thought before about living there alone, as a widow, adult children off in their own adventure. For all my own mother and her divorces friend’s freedom from men and constraints, this was the other side: loneliness.


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