Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Running away

I run now, at night.
I tuck in the children, kiss them all soundly and wetly and wait until they are breathing heavily, their misty breath gathering around their faces, the flannel pulled high under their chins. I wait until Fiona Clementine has woken to nurse at least once, and then I put on some running shoes and I head down the hill, beneath the arc of hemlocks, and hit the pavement and run.
I run, at first, like I am running away. Like I'm trying to get away from something.
I put on music, and I run with it sitting right in the middle of my head, the way music feels when you listen with earphones. This week, I choose purposely those pieces that evoke the sadness in me. The greens look greener, the fields smell of new dirt, the cows moan as I pound along my road. I wonder in my mind if any of the dairy cows are crying for their calves; and I am sad for them as I go.
As I run I always think about myself, and my grief. It's just like when I'm in the garden, suddenly alone, working with my hands. Or cutting the grass, the loud din of the mower drowning out anything else that might be in my head. It's as if suddenly everything that is tangible, and real, and there in my life for certain gets to disappear, because I can trust that, and suddenly this space is made for Charlotte. I think of her, and I think of me. I think about how I'm different from most everyone I know, because of what I hold inside. I think about the memories that haunt me, memories that most of my friends and acquaintances couldn't dream up.
And tonight I even went so far as to think about how easy I got it: I was thinking about war-torn countries; atrocities of all kinds that mothers have had to endure. I was thinking of mothers seeing their children killed, or being forced to choose between their children. I was thinking about how compared to them I got off so very, very easy, with just one little baby who died so quietly and peacefully, and then three precious living ones to follow.
But each one's tragedy is her own, isn't it.
And I have mine.

6 comments:

Hope's Mama said...

You're not going to believe this, but that song "Running Against the Wind" just came on. We have our laptop set to random most days. Weird.
Just wanted to say that this line really got me:
" I think about how I'm different from most everyone I know, because of what I hold inside. I think about the memories that haunt me, memories that most of my friends and acquaintances couldn't dream up."
I can relate to this so much. I will always feel so different to everyone I know, but thankfully not to you and the many other thousands of heartbroken mothers out there.
Sending love.
xo

Sarah said...

It's all true and it's all lovely and it's all you. And I get to have my grief and you get to have yours and yes, sometimes, the world's sadness in all its largeness feels so much, well, larger, but my 3 pound 15 ounce weight is large enough on most days to make me ponder so many things. BIG love to you and thinking as always of Charlotte!

Jenni said...

thinking of you and charlotte today. xo

JustDivine said...

I just wanted to say Happy Birthday to Charlotte, and I hope today is a good one for you and your family.

kristin said...

Thinking of you and Charlotte today.

xoxo

kris said...

Happy Seven to sweet Charlotte. I've been thinking of you all day, dear Carol. I hope the golden glow of the setting sun brought you some extra love and peace.