40 years the Spring

I’ve posted this for many years;  a loving,  healing ritual.
Because I need to honor this out loud,
especially for those who haven’t found their voices yet
And to honor all of the days these 40 years since

because they are each of them marked by both pain and light.

And to honor mothers everywhere,
because our hearts bear always the stretchmarks
of loving and letting go.

 It was March 1979.
Breezes turned balmy and I pulled off my shoes,
letting swollen feet tramp across the warming earth.
I was pregnant with my first baby,  due St. Patrick’s Day.
For weeks I had ached for time to stop,  squeezing myself shut to the coming separation,
the word “relinquish” heavy on my heart.

But today the weather had turned,  and hadn’t everything somehow changed?
Spring had come with her own dreamy wildness
and waves to ride far beyond the looming loss.

I spent the morning sun-soaking,  watching the wind stir the tire swing
I’d played in not so long ago.
I was newly seventeen,  an “unwed” mother
with an unwanted task:
to give my baby to someone she deserved.

Soon she would come apart from me,
gone before the leaves flushed out;
their buds were fat and ready to pop.
Like me.
I went quiet with the knowing.

But this day was vivid lovely and it got inside me.
As the sun began to dip low,  a storm of pain rumbled
and hammered down urgency inside my belly
as grownup voices began herding me into the night.

As my frightened parents gathered my things into the car,
I lunged back inside for one last minute alone
with the gentle life that had so shaken mine
with her own tender worth.

I lowered my heavy frame onto the bed and tried to sing one last lullabye
but could do only tears, a fragile goodbye.

Following strong contractions downstairs and
I returned home with only fierce memory
of her tiny fingers and face.
But I’m marked forever by her essence,
often swept away by her melody
as it drifts across my heartstrings.

I recognize her song.

Forty Springs.
I honor each of her days.
Today I tenderly comfort the girl-in-me who carried her
before she was transplanted into the garden
that nurtured her to thriving.
And I remember those shimmery days when we were just us,
when she was still mine.

“I don’t have much money but if I did
I’d buy a big house where we both could live.
If I were a sculptor,  but then again,  no
or a man who makes potions in a traveling show

I know it’s not much but it’s the best I can do
my gift is my song and this one’s for you.

And you can tell everybody this is your song
It may be quite simple but now that it’s done
I hope you don’t mind,  I hope you don’t mind
that I put down in words
how wonderful life is while you’re in the world.”
– Elton John

Thanks for giving a listen.
For being a witness.
I hold this as a gift
with love and thanks – Jen
( Self care gift to myself this week – lots and lots of words;))


  1. JULIA on March 17, 2019 at 7:15 pm

    Warm hugs Jennifer and lots of love.

    • jennifer on March 24, 2019 at 6:47 pm

      So much thanks and the warmest hugs back, Julia:)
      – Jennifer

  2. Suzanne McRae on March 18, 2019 at 9:44 am

    I’m glad that you create this ritual every year to help yourself and others. Sending you tender love and a warm hug. So much love to you. ❤️🌸

    • jennifer on March 24, 2019 at 6:46 pm

      Sending warm hugs back with loving thanks for your kind support and encouraging words.
      Your artful way and open heart encourages me always:)

  3. jeanie on March 18, 2019 at 10:05 am

    I have always admired your young, strong spirit and the total bravery and courage it took to make the decisions no young person should have to make. I am grateful that each year you share this, not only for yourself but to all who will find it, intentionally or serendipitously. Sending love today.

    • jennifer on March 24, 2019 at 6:45 pm

      Someday I will send words out intentionally and this will be life to me.
      For now, the serendipitous will be my way:)
      THANK you for your generous kindness; you are a gift:)
      Big xoxoxos
      – Jennifer

  4. Lee Ann Garrett on March 18, 2019 at 9:50 pm

    How beautiful Jen are your words and heart of love and young courage. Sending you love and hugs ❤

    • jennifer on March 24, 2019 at 6:44 pm

      Lee Ann:) Hey there old friend:) You and your words are welcome to my heart:)
      Thanks for those hugs and returning a big squeeze to beautiful you:)
      Many xoxoxos
      – Jennifer

  5. Robin on March 25, 2019 at 7:46 am

    Every year this hits me like it’s the first I’m hearing about it. My heart is wide open and I’m sending one gigantic virtual hug.

    • jennifer on March 31, 2019 at 5:57 pm

      I appreciate it so that you show up to listen again:) So very much thanks:)
      Big enormous hug back,

  6. Cathy B Davis on March 25, 2019 at 8:20 am

    Well said again. Life goes on but memories stay forever! (((((BIG HUG))))) and lots of love heading your way sweet cousin of mine.

    • jennifer on March 31, 2019 at 5:57 pm

      Thanks so much for your big warm hugs and for being just exactly you:)
      You are so dear to me:)

  7. Karen Vaughan on March 25, 2019 at 8:24 am

    So beautifully written from the heart, Jennifer! I can only imagine how difficult that day was for you. BIG HUGS to you today, and every day!

    • jennifer on March 31, 2019 at 5:56 pm

      Thanks for the kind words and for hearing me so generous:)
      Thanks for those hugs – i send mine back to you:)

  8. Susan on March 25, 2019 at 11:08 am

    As always, I honor you and your memories at this time and I truly love you so big.

    • jennifer on March 31, 2019 at 5:55 pm

      I feel the love and honor and it moves and heals me so.
      Much thanks, friend.
      With love,

  9. Carola on March 25, 2019 at 6:04 pm

    So beautifully said, yet so sad as well. Girls and women often have to make such hard decisions and they always stay with us. Your ritual is both lovely and healing (at least I assume). Big hugs from me.

    • jennifer on March 31, 2019 at 5:55 pm

      It’s a messy business, this thing called life. Yes and hard.
      And also beautiful. I appreciate your words and thanks for letting me share
      both the hurt and the healing. Always the both:)
      Bug hugs back,

  10. Laura on March 25, 2019 at 9:07 pm

    Jennifer this is beautiful. Your love and loss say so much, and your words do the same. Hugs sent your way.

    • jennifer on March 31, 2019 at 5:53 pm

      Thanks so much, Laura, for your kind, generous words:)
      It’s an honor to hear from you – I appreciate:)

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