Friday, March 11, 2011
The Raging River
poem written by Liam R., early this morning, while looking out the window at the Manhan rushing outside our front door
There are still two hard, icy feet of snowpack in our backyard. The sky is grey and the rain pours down. In some places, along the borders of our south-facing house front, the snow has melted down within about six inches of our house walls, and feisty, determined tulips are beginning to poke their tips out of the soil. I can see them, and I know the end is in sight. Spring will come again, and May.
May will come, inevitably, as it always does. I rush through March, and I am eager to shed the coats, and boots, and hats, and other clutter that accompanies winter and children. I am desperate to closet my slippery down coat that causes the child I carry to slide off my hip; I'm hungry to be able to slip on a sling and bounce down a dry path in my sneakers. I want the smell of mud and sunlight in my house, I want to purge the dry, stale air of winter and invite the freshness of spring to take its place.
This spring, there is another replacement of sorts, or so I hope. May, as my long term readers will remember, takes my breath away every time. Somehow it surprises me with its arrival, perhaps because I am caught up in the excitement of the drying earth, blooming flowers and sunshine in the air. Our family has a week off towards the end of April, which passes by in a fit of springtime flurry, and then suddenly I realize with an almost heavy heart that it is, truly, the 30th of April and there is no 31st, and I must turn the page to May.
To May, where somewhere in the second or third line of the calendar it sits there, #13, like an ordinary day where others might go and buy a loaf of bread and fill the car up with gas while I sit at home, lonely and confused, wondering how I should be feeling and what on earth I should be doing. There is so much chaos in my house now that the stillness that used to settle upon that day like a blanket is unreachable now; instead it's a flurry of something or other while I think to myself of the moments that I can blink into almost present time that happened years ago.
This day has squelched May for me, made me fear its arrival. There is a lifting afterwards, but the downward slide is inevitable.
Except this year, May is getting traded in. I hope.
I suppose it's more of a matching gift. My feeling of doom that shadows the glorious month of May has always made me think that someday, somehow another child would tumble into our lives during this month, somehow helping us to restore the beauty of the month. And I think that's going to happen this May, I hope it does. I'm looking at this as the universe trying to give me back the gift of May, and hoping that this sense of balance will give me faith as May comes and the fear and pain settle into my core. The smell of the air, the color of the light, all of it will take me right back. This time, on her birthday, I will be 38 weeks pregnant.
Must I actually speak these words, or can you hear them? I always want to go early, to free the baby from the danger I perceive in the deep dark womb, but this time... this time...
I need her birthday to be her own, and I need this new life to have a day of his/her own as well. But yet how can I make it through that day, feeling the doom, knowing that another life teeters on the brink inside of me?
And then, when that life comes, what will May mean then?
Seven weeks 'til May, I needn't worry now.
But the river roars, my little one. She is coming.