i sing of northern california, where blanket coats lie dreaming in under-bed storage and the locals apologize for 60-degree evenings! i was inconsolable when what many called the prettiest snowstorm of the season hit new york city just as i made my first trip across the fog-swaddled new bay bridge (predictably, i prefer the clunky old bay bridge - this latest tech boom can suck it). nearly inconsolable, really, as it's hard to fixate on the weather when one's little sister is about to bring one's niece into the world. it's terrible to have to concede that a little sister has had sex, but it's wonderful to help throw a shower for her and her baby.
i sing of adolescence that echoes down through the decades! i turned into a snarling teenager on friday after my mother and i blew our last chance to gather shower supplies at the san francisco flower mart and i had to scavenge for arrangement components in the mylar wasteland that is sacramento-area grocery stores on valentine's day (when whole foods said they'd have "plenty of flowers," they meant they'd have "plenty of pre-arranged roses"). i knew even as i sniped that i was being cruel, but i couldn't hide how bitter i was that she didn't know what i needed. a few days later we wept in each other's arms on the curb at the airport, and i asked her to forgive me for moving so far away. it's been a week of strange demonstrations.
i sing of things we can't know. my sister's baby is tiny, and though her doctors' tests haven't revealed anything sinister, they can't reassure us that the little one will be alright in there until her due date next month; if today's sonogram indicates that she's slipped into the fifth percentile for weight, they will take her out this weekend. little one, you don't have to see the blooms i brought for your mother. i want them long dead by the time you come to us.
we climbed the hill to grace cathedral on thursday afternoon and walked beneath anne patterson's 'graced with light,' an installation of nearly 20 miles of ribbon that "carry our prayers, dreams and wishes skyward, and, in turn, grace streams down the ribbons to us." i watched rainbows creep across the indoor labyrinth and wondered what it would mean if i lit a candle in the chapel. i decided to fill my sister's house with flowers.