Resting my body between warm sheets and cooling my brow with the breeze through the window, I sigh, feeling the ache of a weekend lived well. My belly feels soft and full, the tiny seed of a child noticeable in the center of my awareness.
In the center of my awareness always is the beginning of you. I wonder about all you will be, little one. I marvel that the seasons will pass more quickly than I can imagine until you are welcomed into the world by the blossoms of May. I cannot yet imagine the balance you will invite our family to strike, completing us by offering the fourth element: grounding Earth. To your father's Air, your mother's Fire, your brother's Water, you offer the nurturing soil for roots and stability. Even in your gestation, you are already teaching me differently from your brother.
Your brother rested his body across my lap and slipped suddenly and heavily into slumber this evening. His body curled instinctively into mine, his face lax, his sweet and sleepy breathing as soft as when he was a baby. His trusting surrender reminded me poignantly that he is still my little boy, thank goodness, no matter how tall he looks or independently he moved through the world, who sometimes wants his mama to nurse him to sleep. His hair still smelled like the golden leaves at Cherokee Park.
At Cherokee Park this afternoon, we made an adventure through fields and woods, over bridges and to creeks. Kairi and Roxas, our pit bull puppies, led the way as Oak and his parents followed close behind. Human and canine companions were thick on the path; as Robby guided the dogs and I carried Oak, we received each one as a guest and they received us. Our direction meandered and our pace was erratic...and our eyes delighted in the crispness of leaves just waiting to erupt into color, our lungs in the freshness of air that heralds a new season of surrender.
A new season of surrender is turning in my soul. At The Guest House, we held the question, 'What do I need to sacrifice? What could that new energy bring me?' I want to do everything right for my family, to fulfill my purpose, to make the good choice so as to not squander my life. My striving at times gets in the way of my hope for true freedom. I must let go of the thought that I can decipher the plan. Like the arrival of a second baby in my womb, like each phase of Oak's growth, like the surprise in finding in plain sight the love with whom I could create this beautiful family, like the questions that will remain forever unanswered in me, each gift and guest is right on time.
Right on time, the clouds began to part and the blue sky showed through as the Saturday afternoon wedding ceremony transitioned to a celebratory reception. Children ran through the grass, music wafted across the lake, roses beckoned guests to sit and laugh and delight at long tables around which food and blessing were shared. I looked into my husband's eyes as we held one another close. I thought back to nearly five years ago when we ourselves had pledged to weather all storms, to endure all seasons together. We only knew the edge of what could be our struggle and suffering. We only knew a few dimensions of our particular, ecstatic joy. We only knew a touch of the humility of turning toward each other again and again.
Again and again, in all our unknowing, we have said "Yes" with courage and conviction. A life lived well is not one that is understood but one that is kept close as something to love and tend with all one's heart. As we stood with our oldest child in our arms and our next child between us, the circle contained a small infinity. My love felt as wide as the evening sky.
The evening sky, in its ethereal brilliance, left behind the grays of noon and shone in vivid pinks and blues to remind each onlooker that, before the night guides us home, we will be greeted in mystery and majesty by the grace we have given in this short, magnificent life. The beauty will not evade us. It will flash like a sunset, then sink into eternity's memory to become the colors of a new dawn, which none of us will ever see.