Yesterday, when I dropped J off at school for her field trip — to the play, Charlotte’s Web — I realized she was without a scarf or gloves. I unwound my scarf from my neck and wound it round hers, I pulled my gloves out of my pocket and watched as she pushed her finger into each compartment. There she stood, smiling, wearing parts of me, touching what I’d touched.
Yesterday, when Lala and I left to go to Gaga’s for their weekly time together, I asked what she wanted to take with her, and she said “Your quilt.” The quilt I write about regularly, the one that covers Michael and I each night and all of us at times throughout the day. So we folded up the flannel squares, and Lala brought it along, and I imagined her underneath it on grandma’s couch, the scents of Lala’s place and people mingling in the air around her nose.
So my girls were carrying home with them yesterday, and I think we always are, whether we know it or not. It’s gift when we know home, when we can give a piece of home, when we can be a place of home.
And…it’s such a gift when friends trust and welcome us into both their literal and metaphorical homes. This morning, my beautiful friend Dana Butler is throwing open the doors and sharing her space with me as the first guest writer on her blog that is both tender and bold.
Dana and I have grown to be friends without ever meeting face to face, becoming knit together through our words and shared hearts. I am continually touched by her unabashed love for others, her passion for God and for the encouragement she pours out like salve.
Here’s an excerpt from my piece at Dana’s this morning:
We snuggle under our favorite quilt on the living room couch and read page after page of Charlotte’s Web, and we city girls are right at home on Zuckerman’s farm. My Lala girl, who’s five and has a touch of a cold, keeps finding my eyes, and we’re there — in the conversations between animals, the contents of Wilbur’s slop, the young pig weeping lonely without Fern, the beginnings of Wilbur’s friendship with unlikely Charlotte.
The light falls softly on the front porch, the sky a gentle blue, and I think how rare these late mornings under covers will become, time ticking toward full-day kindergarten. When we read of the farm birds’ sweet songs, I feel my throat tighten. When I read this, my chest aches:
“In early summer there are plenty of things for a child to eat and drink and suck and chew. Dandelion stems are full of milk, clover heads are loaded with nectar, the Frigidaire is full of ice-cold drinks. Everywhere you look is life; even the little ball of spit on the weed stalk, if you poke it apart, has a green worm inside it. And on the under side of the leaf of the potato vine are the bright orange eggs of the potato bug…
Follow me to Dana’s place to read the rest? She is a most loving and gracious host. (Thank you for your welcome, friend.)