When I murmured to my crying child, she calmed and I believe she could hear the lost echo of my own childhood California in my tone. Maybe the soft, lapping surf on a western beach. Maybe the breeze of air through tall trees, a whisper of divinity through nature. I could hold her, once so small, in both palms of my hands. The sound of my voice, her home.
Now she grows into her life, and for how long will she continue to hear my voice calling? This is my prayer: Oh, hear the song. Let me be the pillow for her falling.
As I drove her to kindergarten, her tiny hands on her backpack, my nervous cadence sang inside, Let her remain sure. Let me intone: Requa, California, the land on which I loved a crescent cove of nature. The land that calmed me and taught me slow lessons of rapture.
But how geography erodes and our lives move. My daughter, 20, newly living away in her new adulthood. I murmur Requa, California, invoking the beach surf to calm me while she’s working late, waiting for the text to say she’s home safe.
I chorus, I stanza, I refrain, let the stilling image of nature carry us through our lives. Let all singing be a prayer. Let my voice be the tranquil shore and harbour against my child’s fears, her risk and growing. Let love reassure my daughter and now myself. With her soul in my hands, I wish for her California. I wish for her redwoods and pacific waters.