tracks of my smiles

there are these moments in a day that make me smile a smile that i can feel inside.  like when little bird wraps her arms around my neck and squeezes me to her with all her might chirping, my mama my mummy my mom, and pulls away to look at me then does it again.  no that makes me smile a smile that can be seen from far far away!!  it’s when she’s nursing and i watch her eyes slowly close, hands curled about my breast, body stretched out, falling asleep with barely a guzzle, nuzzle, or hearty suckle, and i remember her so tiny and slack necked and slurpily latched on for hours, milk dribbling out of her mouth, that i get the inside smile.

then there’s little man, who is almost never still.  he is a study of a body in motion, learning and absorbing all there is to do and express with the body.  even when he’s still, it’s part of a flow of motion.  he cartwheels, flips, splits wood, climbs the walls, hangs from trees, walks over ice covered logs and jumps on them always testing, testing to see, what can one do on an ice covered tree??  hmm let’s see!  he makes s, k, f, l, m, and other letters with his fingers and full body in ways that i hadn’t thought of, he talks with his body, bump and go and tease and teach.  he hikes out into the woods to catch his quiet time, his body moves to get him there, to that still place.  today i caught him in one of those thoughtful moments that made me get that sunbursty inside smile, the kind that grows and swells and spreads out onto my face: a smile in motion.

he was born in motion.  the boy did cartwheels inside me for the length of my pregnancy, one day his head was down, the next it was up, or on the side; he moved constantly.  he moved in labor, going from head up to head down position over an excruciating twenty seven hours, until he came literally flying out of me on a sunny, blue skied, summer morning:  completely blue, cord wrapped around his neck three times, from his exertions, and me sweaty and astounded from mine.  it was stupendous.  i looked between my legs and there he was on the living room floor and i kept saying you’re here you’re here, as i rubbed him and he breathed.  and there he was and is, and i blinked and  looked over and saw tenderfoot pushing stormy on the swing, her face aglow, and i thought, goodness, how they’ve all grown and lucky me, i get to watch their tracks as they get laid out all around! and i smiled some more :0)

these tracks are quite something.  i walk about in the snow and look at all the tracks i’ve left behind and about.  then i get the notion to go walking in laughing fox’s tracks or the one’s the deer left or the cat or bird or little man, and invariably, my feet don’t fit those tracks.  too big, too small, too wide, too narrow:  not my track.  i can take myself to their tracks and walk in them, but still i’m on my own track.  can we ever really switch tracks?  is there such a place of enlightenment where all tracks merge to become one track and then no matter where we are we can be on any track at all??  or is that just another track of it’s own kind!?  oh these trails, i wonder where they lead.

once i followed our dearly departed duck’s feathers for a ways up the mountain side, hoping to find what?  it’s carcass?  the lair of a wolf, fox, coyote?  i hiked until the feather trail ended and then i looked above me at the rocky slope and went a little further and then a little more, until i reached the ridge line.  no coyote, fox, wolf . . . . .  just a cabin, more of a shelter really, sitting up there all by itself.  much later i discovered that iron john built it and his nephew, mountain mike, camps out there often.  he thinks there’s a den of coyote nearby but has not gone looking.  as for me, i headed back down the slope back home.  later we were visited by coyote.  maybe he followed my trail back and came looking to see, either way he stood by the creek and looked right at us as we watched him watch us, then he loped off toward the woods.

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