Thursday, October 30, 2008
Once, I kept a secret all to myself for a whole day. I found myself smiling as I went about my tasks and the sky seemed a little more blue than usual. I was in school and working and I didn't see it coming, but some how I think I had been waiting for you all my life. I liked having this secret of the little life inside me but at the same time I was bursting at the seams. I strolled with Josh in the park that evening and walked hand in hand like so many times before. But I was nervous and giddy and his eyes looked at me curiously like he did when he was falling in love, cause this spirit of joy was just oozing from me. Then we sat in the bright summer sun, my head on his shoulder as I scratched a stick across the sand doodling like a fidgety child. First I drew a little stick figure Josh, with his crazy long curls and then a stick figure me, with long straight hair... and then a little bundle in my arms...you. He watched in amusement and then looked at me with puzzled shock. I nodded and the tears were lost in our embrace. The life our our first-born had begun in the soft quiet of my womb, we could not have been happier.
We were typical first time parents. There's something about the first, all the mystery and newness that makes ya a little crazy with excitement. I bought you some itty-bitty cool kicks, I just couldn't resist, and we devoured pregnancy and birthing books, and knew just what piece of fruit you were the size of from week to week. He played guitar for you and I sang to you and talked to you. He rested his head on my swelling belly. We talked and planned and prayed on the hope and promise of you.
Then one day they couldn't find your heart-beat and I gazed at the pictures of you, perfectly formed little head and hands and feet but lying there still inside me. I was heart broken. But you didn't leave this world without leaving your print though brief and small as it was. Those months you were inside me, you brought us such joy and the loss of you has left its scar. Just like the little Egyptian box where I keep your picture and letters there is a space in my heart which forever belongs to you. I am a mother of four though I only know three. October makes me miss you and sometimes I say your name and play your song. No matter how many children I have, you are the first one whose presence took away my breath and who I long to hold someday.
On a cool Autumn mountain-side we said good-bye to you and these were some of the words your daddy spoke.
"I'll never forget the day and the way your mom told me about you. She drew us all in the sand; at this I felt wonder, fear, and anticipation. We have spent these months praying for you and wondering who you would be. It truly breaks our hearts to know that we will never know, at least in this world. While there are many questions, your mom and I know that God is holding you now... We love you with all that is in us, and in the light of God, we look forward to that day when all our answerless questions are realized... the day we see you most beautiful son."
Praise to the One who is victorious even over death, to the one who holds you until we can.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Another year gone, leaving everywhere
its rich spiced residues: vines, leaves,
the uneaten fruits crumbling damply
in the shadows, unmattering back
from the particular island
of this summer, this NOW, that now is nowhere
except underfoot, moldering
in that black subterranean castle
of unobservable mysteries - roots and sealed seeds
and the wanderings of water. This
I try to remember when time's measure
painfully chafes, for instance when autumn
flares out at the last, boisterous and like us longing
to stay - how everything lives, shifting
from one bright vision to another, forever
in these momentary pastures.
~ Mary Oliver ~
The onset of Fall always seems to throw me into a cyclical reflectiveness. I savor the subtle changes, the vibrancy, the moist fragrant scent of leaves returning to soil, the beauty that is present in death. The process inevitably seems synonymous to life and the purging, and stripping, and dying that must take place to bring about renewal and new life. The seasons spur reminders to examine my own heart. So often it is so easy to see what others need to change but hard sometimes to be confronted with our own selfishness, or impatience, or fear.
"To comfort all who that mourn,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified."
Just some eclectic thoughts, and on the lighter side of things, the kids and I have been up to all kinds of Autumnal fun.
I don't know about you, but I love pumpkin flavored things. These chocolate-chip pumpkin bars are delish and even better with hot, spiced chai. You can find the recipe here.
Some things I can't get enough of lately;
1- this chilly Autumn air
2- reason to wear my favorite sweater
3- Juden's love for people and his imagination
4- the sound of Ella's singing ( she's playing the violin in the picture, obviously)
5- these kissable cheeks
Friday, October 17, 2008
You may have noticed a little more image overload going on around here. My brother-in-law has organized another photo project for this month. Octobers theme is people, so you post a picture a day for 31 days. This was a tad intimidating for me as many of the most interesting shots I see, I would never be bold enough to ask for. I did however photograph a few strangers along the way, but my shyness usually got the better of me. I guess I need one of those big old zoom lenses, especially since some of the best shots are when the subject is unaware of the camera. Thanks Josh for the push to creativity. Here are a few of the folks who have caught my eye so far...
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
I have had so much to write about and so little time to do it lately.
It had been almost two years since I last saw my sister and I thought that was just way too long, so we packed it up and headed to NJ for Fall break. It was so good to be with family and to be home. We packed every minute to make the most of our time there.
We made sure we got to Ocean City, where there is something strangely satisfying about the vast majestic ocean next to the gaudy boardwalk I know so well.
We walked around Philadelphia with all those familiar sights and sounds that I so loved showing the bambinos. Juden's wide-eyed enthusiasm for things is so delightful to see. He wandered through Chinatown singing this James Figurine song called All the way to China, quite happy to be discovering"China".
When the sounds of a musician echoed through Reading Terminal , Juden made sure to run up and put in his request for Jesus Loves me.
Have I mentioned lately, how in love with this little boy I am?
We tried on some rock star glasses on South Street and showed them the "pirate" ships at Penns Landing.
We visited a pumpkin farm and ate apple cider doughnuts...
but the best thing was seeing people that we missed so much.
It was a full, wonderful, chaotic week made even better by Nana of course who seems to cast her spell on all the grandchildren. Juden announced on our way home that he would count the coins in his money jar and buy a house for Nana, right near our house and then paint it pink for her, "cause Nana is a girl so she will like a pink house," and then he can see her everyday.
As we drove back I sat with feet on the dashboard watching those little rainbows of light on the tips of my eyelashes as the setting sun beat down on me listening to this lovely song. I thought of my sister Heather and all the others that I wish I could take with me. It's hard being far from people you love but I savored my time with them, some I don't know when or if I'll see again. Wouldn't it be nice if you could transplant the people you love in to your own little community?