The Slow-Cooked Sentence

To pull in air was like reading a novel

Rachael Conlin Levy


Today’s brave history, for the record:


I wonder how much longer she will hold my hand in public.


Despite his fragile lungs, he skated the entire session.


A visit isn’t complete without sharp words and tears and laughter. Lots of laughter.




Feeling fortunate to witness my youngest sister find her rhythm as a mother.


Being surprised at how much I resemble my mom.


And how happy that makes me.


Wishing that it wasn’t time for them to go.


Breathing seemed frail and daring in the morning.
To pull in air was like reading a whole novel.

— Excerpted from “Walking on the Farm” by Robert Bly and featured in The Writer’s Almanac.




8 responses to “To pull in air was like reading a novel”

  1. kyndale says:

    I hope she always holds your hand. That’s what I hope for my daughter as well. Thank you for all the pictures! Love to you! Merry Christmas!! Kyndale

  2. Rachel, the picture of you with the lights behind you is incandescently lovely. A real keeper! Looks like a splendid outing. Poignant, too. Thank goodness for words, pictures, the mind and the heart for being able to capture moments and memories.

  3. Holly Paquette says:

    Rachael such a precious and poignant entry. It had me in tears. I wish I could have been there too. Happy Holidays! I have a box to send–not totally motivated since I returned from Guatemala Love all the pictures. Everyday I too realize how much I am like my mother and how important special moments are with family.

  4. Beth says:

    Your family is beautiful. What a touching post.
    Happy holidays.

  5. Karen says:

    Hi Rachael,

    You tell a beautiful story with those images and your spare prose. Looks like what I think of as a perfect North American Christmas to me! A warm Christmas Day was had here in Melbourne, Australia.


  6. anno says:

    Oh, gosh, I loved this. This one is a keeper, pictures and all; maybe even a mother’s day present. It would completely undo me to hear my daughter tell me how happy she was to resemble me.

  7. melissa says:


    This is beautiful. I too wonder how much longer my eleven year old daughter will hold my hand or lock arms with me when we are out.



  8. Rachael says:

    Thank you, Melissa. I hope you and your daughter stay close, too.

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