My new column, Heartsong, follows my son Rowan’s journey to the other side of the hospital bed. Here’s where his tale begins…

Listening to his Heartsong

It was well known throughout all of the valleys and all of the vales of the Kingdom of the Valley of the Land of the Puppers that Winslow was a good and magnanimous king.

So begins the story Bob and I tell our son, Rowan, every night before he falls asleep. Each evening, we follow Winslow, our dog, on his adventures throughout the magical Land of the Puppers. Winslow, the king of all of the animals, learns how to make friends, how to dance, how not to eat too much frosting. He also meets a little tree that has the most beautiful heartsong Winslow has ever heard:

Winslow ran up the deer path, as fast as he could, and the sound grew louder, and louder, and louder until it was all he could hear—until it filled him up to the very top. And there, with the wind blowing through his fur, he found what he was looking for. It was a rowan tree.

“I’ve never seen a rowan tree before. Is that you making that sound?”

The sound splashed into Winslow’s ears like the ocean crashing against the rocks, echoing through the leaves of Treeton’s branches, and finally whooshing toward his heart in a flood of sound and life.

That sound is the whoosh of Rowan’s heart—not a beat, not a thump-thump, but a whoosh…

Read more of my column following Rowan’s journey at Literarymama.com.