The horse chestnuts rattled around in center console of my truck, right up until their divorce. By that time, the horse chestnuts were wrinkled, not smooth.

We'd gathered them on a hike in the hills above Palo Alto, Lynn's five-year-old daughter and I. Lynn still had the girl's younger sister strapped to her back. "Nurse!" the two-year-old commanded. "Nurse!" She hadn't been weaned yet, but she could talk a little, and loud.

The men and Lynn trudged along.

The older girl and I ran off the trail to gather the horse chestnuts, smooth as river stones. Our pockets bulged with them, yet we kept gathering, giving them to the others to carry.


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