Spring has come early this year, despite snowy setbacks and chilly chivying.

 The magnolias are not worried. They are spreading their fragrance across the skies

 and their beauty through the air,

The little one is with me for the weekend, because the magnolias are not the only thing that is eager and early this spring.

 Last night the littlest one was born, unexpectedly, nearly four weeks before the due date. This morning I took the little one into the hospital, where we saw her baby sister for the first time.

 New life is so tender. This one is full of sleep. Tomorrow we might catch her awake and see her eyes. Every day will be more awake than the one before.

We come home and sort embroidery threads, into subtle colours, and bright ones, and colours that match the baby quilt I’m stitching. The little one has gathered this collection together because, she says, they are the colours of joy.

Did I know this tenderness was about to flood our lives? On my Facebook Books page, only a day or two before, I posted these words from my book ‘A Cup of Sunlight’:

Even as a mother protects with her life
Her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart
Should one cherish all
living beings; 
Radiating kindness over the entire world.
—The Buddha
I wish you all loving kindness that fills your hearts and spreads across the skies with the fragrance of magnolias.

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