(Editor's note: Calvert Library and New Bay Books are two workshops into our discussion of Ross Gay's bestseller "The Book of Delights" and chronicling our own delightful joys in everyday life. Join us in this forum now or register here for our third workshop, on Nov. 1, at the public library in Prince Frederick.
This past weekend we drove to Charleston, South Carolina to help our daughter and her husband attend a wedding by being grandparents to our six-month-old Isla. We stayed in a lovely old house on Spring Street, turned Air BnB, with a wide side porch with a large swing tied to the high ceiling with ship’s rope. That quickly became Isla’s happy place, the only place where she would nap, draped across whoever had her at the time. I was the swing discoverer, having always been partial to them, and took her there the first afternoon. The weather was fine, the sun warm, the breeze just enough to whisper the leaves. I held this warm, compact bundle with the bright, bright blue eyes and sang every song I knew. Gradually, the eyes drooped closed, her body relaxed into mine, and she drifted away lulled by the swing. I drifted with her, reflecting that there was no place on earth I would rather be. That night when her parents came in, she awoke and cried loudly, inconsolably, unceasingly. In the wee hours, I went and got her to give her parents some rest. Isla was wide awake, as was I: a pair of night owls. We had the most delightful, non-verbal conversation in the dimness of the streetlights. She learned to high five and was so pleased with herself. I thought, how enchanting, and how delightful to have company in my insomnia.