My four-year-old granddaughter stands on the porch, eagerly awaiting my son-in-law and my husband as they return from the store. But the resemblance is so striking, I find myself suspended for a moment in time. Surely it is my daughter bouncing at the edge of the steps, awaiting my husband and my father . . . am I mother or grandmother to the child on the porch?
E.B. White, writing of such a suspension in “Once More to the Lake,” sees it as an intimation of his mortality. For me, it is a confirmation of immortality, of the continuity of life, generation following generation through the centuries . . . Later, we sit at the table counting cupcakes, and as I look into those deep brown eyes – inherited not only from her mother but from her other grandmother and both her great-grandmothers – I realize I am looking into the eyes of Eve, the mother of us all.