I could include so many special short stories, poems, etc. but I chose this one below for today. The discussions have been long and deep on our travels through Arizona. Where do people hail from, how long do they stay in the southwest, how difficult is it to leave grandkids, what about two homes... etc, etc....
No simple answer exists and of course the riddle is as fun to consider as it is to roll around in the back of your mind (or mouth if you insist). I know if and when we decide to be south for more than a few months the children and grandchildren will visit!
My grandchildren (as it is for many of you) are dreams come true. Now this is not to say that they are my children to raise but what delights that they have followed my genetic trail and bare resemblance to who, what, how and what we think about. This is an age of reflection that finds delight in the antics of small hands and playful endeavors. So to Jae bird, Triston, Layla, Klea, Ridge, Ava & Tegann... great love and anticipation of future joy.
For the Grandchildren, Coming to the Ranch. By Elizabeth Canfield
Soon summer, returning, will bring you here again,
And during these sweet days of early spring
Coming after winter's stringent pause,
I hurry to make ready for you,
To gather gifts that will bring my own renewal
As I watch your days of childhood move along.
You'll kneel to see each flower,
Hear the songs of birds and frogs and crickets,
Find excitement in the rivulets
That follow thunderstorms,
Not pick up baby kittens until
Their eyes come open, and transfer
Tiny tadpoles from the dwindling puddles
Into the larger pond, so they may live.
You'll care about the little horse
Who carries you so cheerfully,
And leave horsehair from the currycomb
Where birds can find it to build nests.
You'll learn that wild things must be free,
Yet know your lot is to be tamed
By such small things as making beds
And brushing teeth and cleaning bathrooms
And finding hampers for the dirty clothes.
With sorrow you will see
There's no happy ending for the hawk
Who hit the highline,
Or the little lamb who couldn't nurse-
That the race is not always to the swift
Nor the battle to the strong.
I hope you learn that only under truth
Do we find solid ground.
I'll strive to guard you from
The permanent self-pitying adolescence
Where so many grown-ups stay,
And help you keep a measure of innocence-
Not enough to make you gullible, but sufficient
To guarantee you hope,
And a sense of wonder
As you step out to find your way.