I went for my first run in six months on Saturday morning. I started grinning about half a block from home, kept on grinning through about three and a half kilometres of pounding feet and aching chest, and then felt the tears come when I caught sight of home. My body was ready to be finished (and it would punish me mercilessly in the following days). But me? Some part of me is still out there. Rocking out to Jay-Z and Kanye’s Otis and freaking out my neighbours….
I’m almost at the bottom of my research. Over take-out Chinese food and wine, I talked race theory and politics with my husband while my daughter munched green onion cakes and watched the interchange with wide brown eyes. She has become more aware again, lately. When she was a baby, I could almost see the switches flip behind her eyes. Like visors lifting, each progressively revealing a little bit more of our world. When she was a toddler she would ask a flurry of questions following each incident of deepening sight. Now, achingly mature, she watches and listens. And then later startles me with her depth.
“Where is the god, Mum?”
“Which god, honey?”
“The one that keeps watch over us.”
“Well, I’m not really sure. Some people don’t think there is a god that watches over us. They think we just have each other while we’re here, and that’s it.”
“Huh. Well, I don’t believe that.”
“I think there’s a god watching over us.”
“Okay. Why do you think so?”
“I don’t know. I just do. [Friend] says there is…. Do you think there is a god?”
“I think that there is a lot of love in the world, sweetheart, and I think the part of us that love comes from lives forever.”
“In the forever place? Like where Master Oogway went in Kung Fu Panda? And your Auntie Joan?”
“Just like that.”
“So, when we die, our bodies turn into compost and our love goes back to the forever place.”
“I think so.”
“Like where [friend] says Heaven is.”
“Yes. All of the different cultures in the world have a different name for the forever place. We mostly call it Heaven, where we live.”
“If you go to the forever place, will you watch over me?”
“No matter what?”
“Always, honey. No matter what. But you know, that won’t happen for a long, long, long, long, super long time.”
“Oh, good. Just like your auntie Joan is watching over you.”
“Can I have a hug?”
“Oh, sure!” *hugs* “Mum, what is that stuff that the dilophosaurus spit at Dennis in Jurassic Park One?”
*cough* “Let’s go look it up.”
Nine days to complete my paper and eleven to go until semester break. I commented on a Facebook share today: “[L]earning should be a profound act of love.” It should be. It is.
My daughter taught me that.