Solstice Tide at Elkhorn Slough

family story
I ran on a floating path
between the Elkhorn Slough and the southbound rail of the Union Pacific.
The oceans burnished blue-green hands
hid the marsh beneath the highest Solstice tide I’ve ever seen.
Bands of geese a hundred long soared above me,
strung in archers bows hunting for the North.
A brown-hooded Eagle feasted on
Monterey Bay dwellers swept in.
I once swam this canal,
over to the endless reed alleys
now swaddled in a mile wide lake.
That world has disappeared,
for this tide.
Kirby parks wooden walkway,
once a perch where egret stamped mud
beckoned to my son,
is now a bridge to islands
that storms may someday consume.
This is the work –
to be here and more alive
than you were before.
To say yes to the tides when they pull you down.
To trust that you can die and be remade,
revealed again when the waters disappear.
I swaddle and feed
our newborn fosterling some nights,
I am so graced by her need for my attention.
I get to feel like the ocean tides,
my devotion flowing over her,
nourishing her even as she becomes something new.
Each child changes us,
even as we imagine we are making them.
They turn us into
our true clay selves.
It doesn’t matter how long they call you theirs,
and you call them yours,
we are remade
by the pulling of their needs.
Tide and clay.
Terry at the Slough with Tadg

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