"Hey Mom, maybe when we get home can we go look at the garden together?" Jack says.
"Maybe," I say. "We'll see." Craig gone all week, Jane there with him, Arts Camp, long trailing ends of exhaustion whisp through the car. The showcase opening tonight, we all previewed it. Jane toured us. She glowed with satisfaction, bubbled really as if carbonated. Some indivisible quality of her surfaced, an immovable cornerstone, confidence a symptom of it.
Jack had carried my bag, tagged along, swept in the gap when I needed help, waited while I visited, made conversation himself. Foreman of the minutia, he was just there when I needed him.
"Okay," Jack says. "I just really want to."
Oh yeah, the garden. The garden. Even as I sigh, an engulfing sigh that seems to go on and on and on, I hear the invitation in his voice. Together, he says.
"Well, Betsy, peed out of her clothes," I say, "and there is food to be made, but maybe. We'll see. I do love looking at the garden."
"I know," he says. "It just always changes. Even over half a day it seem like a plant has moved." He memorizes the plants like faces in a classroom.
"I know," I say. "I know what you mean." I picture the sprawling garden, rolling-green over green over forest-green. Jack the gardener knows every leaf, every turn of a petal, every reach and strive of stem. He bunches the earth up and pulls it open and smooths it flat. He cultivates a showcase of his own.
He takes me to his gallery.
5464. Friends invite us to dinner. We show up on the wrong day, ten minutes late, and unannounced. Still, they invite us in, the eight of us, and encircle us with hospitality. The evening lingers on their back porch, drawn out slow and delicious.
5465. Kefir water. I try something new. Jack and Lucy help me brew it.
5466. Jane spends a week at work with Craig. The tight cords of their bond grow thicker.
5467. A live and huge basil plant to replace the ones I forgot to plant this spring.
5468. I prepare for varicose vein surgery later this week. A little more grace than usual finds its way to me.
5469. I almost beat Craig in chess, then lose badly the next many games. I try to remind myself that this is the way you get better.
5470. I do the budget. Something of a scowl takes over my face. "Mom, you're doing a good job managing the house," Jane says hand on my shoulder. I smile the scowl smooth.
5471. "Hey Mom," Jack says, "I'm reading my Bible over by Betsy, and I whisper the good verses to her, and she tugs on my ear."
5472. And I whisper the good verses to her, I take this in and hold it like a deep breath. The good verses, they give us life. Let us bow and worship before our King.