Words escape me lately. Words escape me a lot, actually, but especially lately. They say it never rains in California but it’s raining tonight. I have a huge skylight in my kitchen that makes the rain sound especially beautiful. I have a crackling, orange fire going in my fireplace that makes the rain feel especially beautiful. I hear it hitting the deck in pitch blackness beyond the window behind me, where I sit on the couch wrapped in an afghan made by my mother-in-law, while looking through my pictures from the last few weeks. Where to begin? Words escape me.
In between the regular stress of life and work and heartache and pain, we’ve had a house blessing and a birthday and a birth and a baptism as well as many gatherings of family and friends over good food and drink. These things have a hard time working themselves out in my mind.
My shoulder hurts. Like bad, hurts. Like I’ve been going to physical therapy three times a week and acupuncture once a week. Like the pain wakes me up at night and I cry often when moving the wrong way, which is all the time because when my body does things, it tends to do them big and loud.
And then my grandson was born. I held the full weight of my daughter as she labored through contractions with determination and beauty in the stillness of her house on a rainy Sunday. As her arms wrapped around my neck and we rocked together, while she worked through the pain that countless women before her have worked through in order to bring forth life, I was transported back to when she was a baby and I would sing her to sleep with her head on my shoulder and her arms wrapped around my neck. And in spite of wanting her to be delivered from the pain, I also wanted the stillness and the beauty of the moment to last. And then the stillness was broken when we finally saw his little face after many, many hours, yelling and telling us all about it. And we cried and laughed and kissed and hugged because never in the history of the world has there been a more glorious sound than the yelling of a newborn baby, safe at last in his mother’s arms, after coming through one of the most perilous journeys that both of their bodies will ever know.
Are there even words out there that can be said? The worst of times and the best of times, all in one week. Bags under eyes and gray hairs and aching bodies and family and love and arms wrapped around necks and grandchildren. Rain and green grass after months of dryness. Isn’t that just how life goes sometimes.
The house blessing: