It’s hard to recreate a time when there were no words, only feelings.
Moon/Tree/Clouds. These are the first things I remember. Crib slats casting black shadows on a summer smooth sheet. White face through spreading branches. Next, a perfect silver disc lending its sheen to arching branches. The sugar maple that grew behind Grandparents house was enormous.
(Perhaps it had been brought west to Ohio by a homesick Yankee.)
Of course, I knew nothing about it. All I knew was that the spreading maple was good to see, the harmony of black and white, the leafy patterns, made a sound in my head like a clear note. I was entirely secure. Outside the broad leaves with their sharpened edges barely moved against a velvet sky. Moon face gazed down serene; a cloud edged in rainbow and silver slipped past.
In the next room, women’s voices. They cared for me, two young, one old, getting ready for bed in the spacious bathroom on the other side of the door. It was big enough to accommodate one at the dressing table mirror, a bather in the claw foot tub, one at the sink running water–or, perhaps, even “enthroned,” as indoor plumbing was the first improvement my Grandfather made after purchasing his house. He had jokingly called it “a girl’s dorm” for years, and now here I came, the newest female–the one quietly wondering in the room full of moonlight. Sleep was impossible bathed in silver, but it wasn’t frustrating or lonely. Body comfortable, I didn’t need to cry and call them to me. After all, the women were nearby–and so was the Moon.