"Why do you think they have pictures in Bibles?" Lucy smooths her fingers over the tissuey paper of her Bible.
Moored at the black table, empty plates and bowls pushed to the center, I pause, memory work strewn in front of me. "Because they are afraid people won't want to read it if there aren't enough pictures," I say.
"Oh," she says. "Sometimes I want another picture, but not that often," she says it in half-voice and then nods, almost to herself, her eyes back on the text.
I trace words, mouth them across the canopy of my mind. She points at sentences, combs her index finger underneath them, whispers the words.
"All the rivers and oceans actually connect," she says aloud.
I nod but loll out cursive curls to the next comma, then look up. "That's true. How'd you know that?"
"I think," she pauses to review a mental list, "Jack told me. And it says it right here." She jabs halfway through a column of text: Genesis one.
"Oh, well that's right," I say. I click the lead out on my pencil and resume the rhythm of copying. Head bent over and propped on her hand, she continues too, pink fingernails laced through her hair.
"It keeps saying: And this is what really happened," she says. "This is a grown up Bible, but it doesn't really sound like it when it says that."
Grown-up Bible, I remember her digging through the stack. That must have been what she was looking for. "It's actually a middle Bible," I say. It's bigger than the kid Bibles, but it's not the same as this one." I pat the leather back of my Bible.
"Oh," she says. A tiny disappointment jangles across her face and drops free like a marble.
She finds her place; I find mine. And we cadence on. The morning weaves in its braided sort of way. Dishes find their way to the kitchen, Bibles into the stack. Children assemble in skirts and flip-flops. Jack dons a checkered button down. We hogtie Joey and coax him into a teal plaid.
We trolley to church and back, a sermon ingested. And still, I'm hanging on to the tail end of her words. It doesn't really sound like it when it says that.
"Doesn't it feel good when you worked for it," I reel back five days earlier, picture Lu there in the garden, "and didn't just wait around for someone else to do it?"
I'm poking nasturtium seeds in the ground, her balanced on the brick wall. "Like what?" I say.
"Like cleaning the house," she says.
I poke two fingers in the soil, drop a swollen seed in each hole. I glance up at her, swimsuit and shorts, big blue sky a cloak around her. "Yep. Yes, it does," I say.
Doesn't it feel good when you worked for it... I hear it, something like a note perfectly tuned. Truth. Even a slight deviation rings dissonant.
5382. Lucy gets accepted into another twelve week study with the flicker glasses.
5383. Croakies -- a glasses strap for the new glasses -- she pulls them tight across her nose.
5384. Lucy lets her hair run wild and loses my favorite hair sticks. Mom passes down two almost like it.
5385. Beatrice. Beatrice comes to live with us, a tiny bumblebee baby doll. Jane glows, girlhood a perfect circle around her.
5386. Pizza night. I shall never tire of this. Family, pizza, salad, and ice cream -- my life has strung together many happy pearls on this thread.
5387. The kids make strawberry rhubarb jam in our crockpot. They spoon it over oatmeal. "This is amazing," Myra says. "I really hope this isn't a dream," Lucy chimes.
5388. Three spools of fresh white thread, quilting adhesive, I complete the finishing touches on two more quilts. Craig says one is his favorite. (!)
5389. We finally have Thanksgiving dinner down on the farm, Memorial Day and Thanksgiving, a perfect match. We bloom in gratitude. Craig's aunt visits from Montana.
5390. The turkey transcendent, the gravy smooth gold, rhubarb cake ala mode, a small gathering of family, we relish the meal.
5391. Craig's mom sends me home with recipes and his dad's favorite hymn: Oh The Deep, Deep Love of Jesus.
5392. My brother sends me an excerpt from C.S. Lewis on praise.
5393. I try to leap over a small gate at church only to find it unlatched and fully mobile under my weight. Craig and I laugh at the disastrous result, one final attempt at being sporty.
5394. I plan another quilt in my mind and thank the Lord for meaningful toil.
5395. Meaningful toil, so much pleasure wells from this spring.