It is bedtime, and my daughter Zoe, fresh from her bath, is heading to the kitchen table for her nightly medicine and dessert. She is tired, I can tell, by the slow way her legs come together, causing a clumsy and uneven gait. Step by step, she makes her way pulling her walker behind her. She moves forward to the promise of cookies and milk, humming her way down the hall.
Maybe it it is the break in the hot Arizona weather, the cool breeze, or the beauty of our backyard desert sky, but something is calling to me. So I go to Zoe and take her by the hand, carefully leaning in to her , as my body adds balance and prevents her from falling. She is shaky and tired and she takes tiny steps now, in tandem with mine as I lead her. “ Uhh Mom? “ she says, questioning the departure from our reliable nightly routine. “ Dessert on the patio tonight” I answer.
I grab her covered cup of milk and small bowl of cookies with my other hand and we make our way out the back door and to our bench on the patio. We sit facing the natural desert, and just watch.. above the shrubs the quail visit, the baby birds circling and tip toeing down the line of a nearby fence. The sky is a darkened, shadowed canvas with fading streaks of color left behind from the setting sun. I look up at my tiny twinkling white lights hanging above us. I strung them here recently, determined to take a moment in simple celebration each night, a reminder, to sit and breathe deeply, to just be.