Summer bucket list

Minor_League_Baseball_LogoI made a bucket list at the beginning of summer and so far I think we’ve crossed off 85%. Pretty good, and better than I expected, especially considering the adoption journey and miscarriage that weren’t planned. We actually have a pretty good chance at getting everything crossed off except for seeing our minor league baseball team play (their season ended last week). Guess I’ve got a head start on making next summer’s bucket list.

We took a break from adoption paperwork for a few weeks after the miscarriage but we’ve been back at it lately. This is the unexciting feels-like-work part of the process. It’s a good change, though, because it’s becoming something that’s just part of my life, just part of the daily routine. I’m trying to work on a little bit of it every few days. It feels great to be making progress and put energy back into it after the break; actually, it feels more like it’s putting energy back into me. Right now our blackbird baby is just a lot of paperwork and it’s easy to lose sight of the end result: our baby, in our house, growing up with our two dogs (who will be *fantastic* playmates as they get older together), and joining our family pictures from now until eternity. By the way, have I mentioned where the nickname “blackbird” came from? Red-wing blackbirds are my favorite birds. They bring back sweet honey-tinted memories of bike rides down our country road while I was very small. Their call, their color, and their habitat all mean “home” to me – home with summer lemonade on the picnic table, with play dates on the nearby dairy farm, with “leaf soup” and rare salamander sightings in the drainage ditches. Plus, there’s this poem that I love.

The Brook, by Edward Thomas

Seated once by a brook, watching a child
Chiefly that paddled, I was thus beguiled.
Mellow the blackbird sang and sharp the thrush
Not far off in the oak and hazel brush,
Unseen. There was a scent like honeycomb
From mugwort dull. And down upon the dome
Of the stone the cart-horse kicks against so oft
A butterfly alighted. From aloft
He took the heat of the sun, and from below.
On the hot stone he perched contented so,
As if never a cart would pass again
That way; as if I were the last of men
And he the first of insects to have earth
And sun together and to know their worth.
I was divided between him and the gleam,
The motion, and the voices, of the stream,
The waters running frizzled over gravel,
That never vanish and for ever travel.
A grey flycatcher silent on a fence
And I sat as if we had been there since
The horseman and the horse lying beneath
The fir-tree-covered barrow on the heath,
The horseman and the horse with silver shoes,
Galloped the downs last. All that I could lose
I lost. And then the child’s voice raised the dead.
“No one’s been here before” was what she said
And what I felt, yet never should have found
A word for, while I gathered sight and sound.
“All that I could lose I lost. And then the child’s voice raised the dead.”

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