Rough start, the unforgiving cold. Snow as a field of giddy cement. As soon as I turn my skis down the gentle slope from the back steps to cross the field I am doomed. Crash landing on my back. It’s wise to retreat. Snow shoes are necessary for this journey. Now, a new start, crunching on the surface with grips. Still, the cold penetrates and a body feels brittle as bare branches in it. The river is ice rippled. Once again, the wetlands are solid. In the universe of this morning, a family floats like a planet: parents with infant. In my life, this ritual, three times. Every time, a new mystery to meet: who is a son, or a daughter or another? Who am I, a mother to this one or this one or this one? Every one, in this pivotal moment, an only child. Last night the youngest left her bed in this house for her new part time place in the city. This morning in the brook, I see a picture, like the moment she floated into our world and fixed her place with us. And us with her.