Heading across the yard this morning with the dogs I stop to check on the spontaneous pumpkin patch that has grown up in the pig pen. Last fall my daughter collected post-Halloween pumpkins from all the neighbors to feed the pigs. And now these beauties are stretching across the grass and coming along nicely. It was a shorter walk, and it was cool and cloudy, I needed a long sleeve shirt to be warm. After walking the dogs I went with my daughter to the annual Admiral Funbelow Perimeter swim around Farm Pond, and there we met our good friend, and about thirty other swimmers on the small beach to begin the swim. It's not a race. About twenty years ago, my brother, who used to live in this town too, conceived of this annual swim as a community event, inspired by the long lake swims we took together in our youth. My brother doesn't run it any longer, but I swim it most years, and this year, had the added bonus of doing it with my daughter. And I felt great the whole way - because I was well prepared. In the water, as I swam along I remembered feeling discouraged, in mid-August, when I returned from Martha's Vineyard and began trying to do some long swims, how defeated by age I felt. In a few days, with some regular swimming, I was back feeling strong and energetic. It wasn't my age at all. Just needed to work at it a bit, like every other summer. Just show up and do it. Like writing. Just like writing a poem. This afternoon I went back to a poem I started a couple of weeks ago, to the rough draft I shared with my online poetry pals. Opened it and just worked on making it better. I hope to have a decent draft for my Monday group, and I think I'm getting somewhere. After I put it away, that's when the dam broke and ideas started bubbling up to show me the way. Just show up and keep at it. Yesterday I was pleased when Natasha Tretheway read a poem she said she recently published that she'd put away for years and years - and all it needed, she found when she went back to it was two words, the last two, and they landed, finally. And, I might as well add, this is the way of mothering, too. How conflicted we've been, this daughter and I, how pained, how shattered by each other in the tough years. How strong we are with and for each other - how strengthened by the struggles, how healing happens. Keep showing up, showing up, showing up. How grateful I am for our friendship, this swimming, this trust and this endurance; how we've held on in the broken moments, for this wholeness. All losses will be restored.