When their blue gazes swim into my own, we begin reeling back in time, and forward, catapulting from forever to always before we blink. I remember life without them, except, did it really exist? Were they always there? I think yes.
Not every dividing mass of cells finds a joyful place to explode into eventual personhood. Each story filled with complexities as different and similar as the women who would tell them.
Right now I think of the leagues of women who have been battered by the cruel hand that snatches back what they have so longed for, what they have never even held, what they have cradled and had to let go… An unthinkable torment.
Rarely have I spoken about my own early losses. Always needing to qualify: early. Though sometimes blood is on the tip of my toungue, how I had to flush it all away. Each time a hot rake across my heart, and how the anger swelled inside my brain, the pressure cutting off my breath, my words. And finally, perspective would cool my bitter fever… and I would think about the women who lost so much more than blood. Still I had no words, unsure of where to place my experience within the collective, commonplace tragedies that women have been bearing, like warriors, since forever. Each one, with her own scars that only she knows. My hope for each one of them is to find her solace wherever it might be hiding. Be it in the showing and telling of her scars or her own private ceremonies of the heart… I wish her peace.
For days all I can think of is a woman I know, not even well, who has carried and tragically lost her sweet babe.
I think and think of her…
When she was a young girl, so new to this place, with her hair whipping in the wind, racing down the beach, tossing her laughter up to the gulls ~ she could almost see them…
When she slipped her hand into larger, loving hands ~ she could almost feel them etching themselves into the fine lines of her small palm.
When she was alone, small in her quiet bed ~ she sang and sang to them. Each day on this earth the songs more her own. Only later, knowing finally, there is no distinction.
Her child-growth so mighty a job, the earthly moment became her gravitational pull, the force obscuring them from her view. She straddled her first world and this one for only a breath in the span of a lifetime. The reminder of origin stirred only by the blessed weight of the babes upon her breast.
There, in those precious few moments of new love collapsing in on itself does she remember and know again the love of an eternity. Because our babies have raced on the beaches with us, hiding in the wings of gulls. Our babies have nestled into the lines of our hands, burrowing paths to our hearts and far beyond. As we rock the fragile bodies on our breasts, we hear the echo of every song we sang to them, to ourselves. There is no distinction. Because this love has lived since forever, we just meet it again.
And to be born with a mother’s heart is an unfair and sacred gift. There is no mercy to the joy, nor the pain of being carved so violently by the relentless force of this absurd love. Because not every baby stays with us, and some don’t even land. Some fly far too soon, leaving in their wake the crushing memory of how we have loved them since forever. Leaving us, again, listening for the echo to our songs… heads tilted upward, looking for them, always. Until somewhere… somewhere… we arrive at the point where we meet them again, arriving newly into ancient love.
…And I think of you, and you know who you are… and I am wishing with my full heart that you take your comfort wherever you may find it. When I think of his fleeting time almost-here I can’t help but smile at his warm comfort. The comfort you provided, all that he knew.
My love is travelling fast and hard.