While magnetic North tends to wander over time,
you, my woman-child – are True North.
You were that baby who seemed “already out here” long before you born –
Ever pushing, pushing, forward, forward.
And even at the actual moment;
it was one small hand that showed up first, reaching to find your way, and
intent to arrive and get about the business of belonging to this life.
You were the one who barely squeaked, nursed immediately,
and stared intently into the faces of your brother and sister as though
you’d already known them for decades.
And later, as you grew – into family, space and place –
You never hesitated to fully be exactly what each moment called for….
Neither as calmly cautious as your brother nor as bravely reckless as your sister.
you were intentional. You were True North – from the way
you laughed with complete gusto to your stubborn refusal to be quiet,
from an unquenchable zest for discovery to astonishing patience in nature…..
your compass needle never wavered.
It was you who made getting sandy, or wet,
or snow soaked or muddy – look like the worlds’ best fun, and yours
was the determined “no” that was strong as steel, but whose sweet
impish grin could also melt steel.
You were that player who could “see the field” and never wanted the game to end,
as well as the shivering frolicking kid who would jump into the freezing ocean
in the biting chill of early spring.
Last to bed and first to rise, notorious
for refusing a leg up or a hand down or a push to get you going –
because you wanted (well, insisted – really) to do it on your own.
And you did. And you do. And now delightfully,
you are first one to say “let me help you.”
Perhaps, one of the most remarkable things about you, my love –
is that you really truly haven’t changed. Of course you are older (just) – but
none of your determination has diminished.
At every turn, I still see you reaching to find your way,
and still fully intent on making this business of life as glorious as possible.
You have been and will always be the one who plays without pause,
chooses truth without hesitation, and despite being uncannily good at so many “things,” will always first choose love as your greatest ability.
In my heart, you are so many things:
a poem running down a deep green slope;
leaves encased in the sheen of January’s silver frost;
a small muddy face tilted up for a kiss; a fierce wind; the cobalt sky of twilight….
My stunning child – forever – you are the stuff that my very soul
knows is absolutely real and right.
You are True North.
martha lee phelps
For Virginia Jean
January 8, 2018