At the Edge of the World

By: Tanya Ward Goodman

At 7:45 on Saturday night, I was consumed with missing my children. I pushed myself away from a long wooden table where my plate held the skin and bones of roasted trout, a few grains of brown rice clinging to the remains. My belly was full of organic kale salad, my lungs filled with sea air. My brain was challenged by writing workshops and conversations with strangers and I was full, full to the brim of me with it all.

Still, I missed my kids. Missed my husband.

I walked through the dark with the Milky Way spilling out over my head to a wooden phone booth where I sat on a hard bench and typed in the numbers of my calling card and then the numbers of my home.

The voices of my children brought tears to my eyes. They sounded so young, so small, so far away.

“I ate noodles as tall as me,” my daughter declared.

“I love you,” my son said. “I kicked the winning goal with my left foot.”

I strained to hear their questions.

“Do you like your roommate?” my daughter asked.

“Is the ocean warm?” wondered my son.

I tried to describe the butterflies clustered together for a winter in the trees and the way the chair where I drank my morning coffee seemed to be in the air, on the grass, and in the sea at the same time. I felt drunk with longing for my kids and also so grateful that they were three hundred miles away with their father in Los Angeles and I was here, at the edge of the world, a writer and mother both.

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Tanya Ward Goodman

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