Wednesday, August 15, 2007
My little niece K has always been a buddha girl. So self-possessed, calm, the oldest of three (soon to be four) kids, she looks out for the little ones -- lifting them down from ledges, sharing her meatball, making sure their drinks don't spill.
Always thinking about something, still and silent, searching the outward and internal horizons, then suddenly she'll launch into a story, and beam golden like the sun.
One of my dearest memories is when she was so small she was walking but not talking and I visited her and her folks (her daddy's my brother) bringing with me The Maestro Plays, a wonderful book by Bill Martin Jr. and Vladimir Radunsky.
She picked it up and brought it over to me, sitting next to me. We started to read. A few pages in she crawled into my lap, folding her legs and nestling in, turning the pages as we moved through the story. Two thirds of the way in, when the book got really good, she turned her whole face up at me, craning her neck straight back, watching me read and intonate the wonderful language that Martin and Radunsky use to tell Maestro's story.
I looked down in her eyes and kept on going. She stayed that way for what seemed like a really long time. Still, silent, joyful, curious.
Much later her mother told me an imaginary friend had appeared on the scene, and K named him Maestro.
So wonderful to watch her grow big and beautiful and searching. So glad to count her as family.