on a soft morning in July

Last night, as we were having a glass of wine on our deck, before dinner, Forrest called from Ottawa. The baby due in two weeks had decided to arrive a little early. So the evening calm became sharp with excitement. And a couple of hours later, Edmond Richard Labelle Pass was born.

new Edmond

He has his father’s (and brother’s) gingery hair. (Anyone who knows Forrest will recognize those eyebrows!) His mother is dark-haired, hazel-eyed.  Having something of that colouring myself, and having one dark-haired child, one ginger-haired, and one blond, two with blue eyes and one with brown, I know that genetics can lead us on twisting paths as we try to determine a child’s legacy. But Edmond has wonderful parents whatever their hair and eye colour. He will go home to a blue house on a quiet street, a joyful brother, a backyard with a leafy grapevine and a red canoe. He has French-speaking relatives and English-speaking ones. Far back he has an Algonquin family and he has tendril-y roots in Yorkshire and in two small villages in Central Europe.

We won’t meet him until later this summer but we will arrive bearing gifts. Already a poem is being considered for a birth announcement to be printed on our old Chandler and Price platen press. And in the meantime, some words from Louis Macneice for sweet Edmond, on a soft morning in July:

                   . . .provide me
With water to dandle me, grass to grow for me, trees to talk
to me, sky to sing to me, birds and a white light
in the back of my mind to guide me.