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
into
the
night,
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;))

whisper in a crowd…..

now
I keep showing up,
carving out space and time
to rest my eyes on sky
while the sun shimmers low on the horizon,
suspended like a breath
and then exhales into the night,

keep being wowed by how quickly it happens,
how easy to slip right by
if I do just this one thing first,
like a whisper in a crowd,
I could miss it in the scurry
because life is sweeping past
and if you don’t kneel down and put your hand into the river
you may not recognize.

now 2

And I have sometimes drawn back from the living
because I feel so much,
sometimes feel it all too much
and the pain can make me flinch and close up tight inside
for just a while
and as I watch all these ordinary little whiles
fill up with so much I wouldn’t want to miss,
bits I’ve mostly missed my whole life long,
it shakes me awake to the choices I hold

and as each day I walk home
rubbing sunspots from my eyes
I feel stronger in the showing up,
as if all of this light is infusing my choosing
as these days,  they quickly go by.

now 4

“Time keeps on slippin,  slippin,  slipping  into the future….”
-Steve Miller

So I wrote this last September…..the words didn’t find me this crazy-busy week
(my little gardening business is at it’s busy season peak and I’m tired and smell of ben gay)
But it holds truer still today, this piece,  and I wanted to serve it up fresh
with love
because I’d miss you too much if I didn’t come around at all.  Big hugs all around.