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  • Writer's pictureShana Ritter


It is my first grandson’s birthday today. From the first he has been a gift, along with my title of Nana. Being a grandparent I am able to step back and so I get to see him in a another kind of light. Parenthood has its own magic but along with the heart breaking wide open there is a fierceness. And of course there are all the other things you are trying to do as you are raising your children. Grandparenthood, for me, is full of tenderness, and play. I don’t have to worry about his day to day needs because my daughter and son-in-law are such capable parents. Oh, and it’s my second grandson’s birthday tomorrow. I am blessed on all sides.

This is my first grandparent poem.

Wherever it Lands is the Center

We gather the rocks from the driveway choosing the best ones for throwing filling the tiny red radio flyer found in an antique store refinished and saved until he’d grown enough to pull it behind him.

He carts the wagon down to the small shore where we sit together tossing stone after stone into the pond watching the circles grow out from so many different centers.

A slight wind rises ripples blow across the surface the sun emerges shimmering the water to brilliant lighting the pond with ten thousand stars.

Mika takes in his breath, his eyes grow wide. “Nana, Nana what is that?” As if it were a magic trick. As if the whole world burst open “It’s light on water” I said.

But it is magic, sitting at the edge of water in this land locked place with a boy who makes my heart glisten open with love. Born as my dear friend died.

Born on my mother’s birthday. Concentric circles of loss merge with widening circles of grace and spark question after question. The answer simply sitting by a pond tossing stones finding the center each and every time.

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