Proof of Life

There is a tiny person under my roof this morning.  She arrived two days ago, and I fussed and worried and sterilized and kept the appropriate social distance, until finally her mother placed her gently in my arms.  I cannot adequately describe how it felt to hold another human close, after the terrible, endless Covid drought. I felt like a woman who has wandered in the desert for days, suddenly seeing salvation in the glimmer of an oasis.  I drank long of this sweetness, looking down at the delicious face peering back at me.

Is it wise for me to expand my “bubble” to include my daughter’s best friend and her baby?  Perhaps not, but we humans are not meant to be lone wanderers in the desert.  Contact and connection are vital.  The feel of this tiny person, warm and soft and smelling sweet as new grass realigns me; reminds me what it is to celebrate humanity.  Her eyes, deep pools of velvet, resurrect emotions I hadn’t even been aware I’d lost.  Joy, delight, gratitude.  Worry for her future becomes awe; perhaps there is hope this pandemic truly has allowed the earth to repair, to be healthy in her lifetime.

I touch the soft down that crowns her head and smile at her.  She smiles back, and I’m grateful to be alive in this moment, with this wee source of life-light shining through the global darkness. Here in my arms lies proof of life.

Jennifer Burton is a recent retiree who has been living in a log cabin in rural Ontario, Canada since the Pandemic outbreak in March 2020. She has studied Creative Nonfiction, Autobiographical Fiction, Memoir and Personal Essay writing, and is involved in a number of Wild Writing circles and writer’s groups on the Zoom and Slack on-line platforms.

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