The leaves are finally dead.
They lay all over the ground in crunchy piles, my daughter having just discovered the joy of squeezing them to disintegration in her tiny fist. She is sick again, and whiny, but a few half smiles escape as she plays, and I smile too. I have to wrestle her (screaming) when I take her back inside, a half an hour later.
I give her ibuprofen for her sore throat, and she slowly begins calming down for her nap. I try to be productive while she sleeps, but my brain feels muggy, so I allow myself a few moments of spiritual productivity: silence, making some spearmint tea. The water begins to boil in our clear teapot, and I let my eyes relax into observation. The water, the cool smell of spearmint, combine into a flash that translates as joy. Such a little thing to bring such great joy. And I begin longing for my daughter to wake up, to scream and whine even, as long as I can kiss her chubby cheeks and see myself in her wise brown eyes.
Such a little person, such waves of love between us.