She dominated my week. Nick, Charms and Naomi came over from Sydney and Clemency drove her ancient Honda up to see them all. My week was more than usually full, as I made up for the time spent on retreat, and, as well, I made two return trips to Christchurch to see my pregnant daughter and then my tired daughter and my latest mokopuna. Also, my computer died and I set up the replacement. One of our guest cats (I won't name him because it wouldn't be fair on Frank) peed on my new down jacket, and I machine washed it, (the jacket not the cat but I was sorely tempted) harming both the jacket and the wallet which was in the pocket. Clemency's old Civic developed a transmission fault that no one could quite identify but which all agreed was going to be expensive. I researched and bought a new car and arranged to pay for it.
And on the second of the trips North I meet her. Indeterminately dark eyes, probably blue, which look searchingly at my eyes and a little head which already turns towards voices; a still presence which grows even quieter when I play her Taize chants. I have known her for only a week, and for most of her life I will be just photographs and mementos. I will never meet her life partner or her children, or know in what ways she will learn and grow. But my life is tied to and invested in hers.
I look at her beautiful hands, each about the size of a large postage stamp, and see them marked in miniature with all the lines and creases which will remain unchanged through childhood and youth and adulthood and her own old age. They open and close around my own fingers without, as yet, any conscious direction on her part, but one day they will knowingly hold and touch and make and communicate. I am so grateful to see her; whose tiny fists hold so much promise, so much of my hope.