(Published September 4th in the Warroad Pioneer)
We danced our way into Fall on a recent rainy weekend. During a midday downpour, the five-year old and I stripped down, ran out into the chilly-at-first rain and danced in the grassy puddles with our hands and faces to the sky. It was earthy, delicious, giggling fun, and we twirled and sang until we were as soaked as river moss.
She starts school this week and will be the only kindergartner in our one-room school house. There’s no preschool at The Angle, so this first day of school is her legitimate first. She’s been talking about it for a year, and we’ve been actively prepping for a month. Bedtime has moved progressively earlier each week and she’s now waking up readily at 6:30am with sleepy smiles at whatever song her papa chooses as the alarm. AC/DC’s TNT has been a popular choice and remains stuck in her head throughout the day despite her not knowing any lyrics but “TNT Dynamite!”
As seasons change, it’s easier to notice the shape and flavor of life somehow. I’ll catch myself doing wholly unfamiliar activities, and then realize somewhere inside I was still believing I’m the person I used to be. The BMW-driving, Microsoft-working, Seattle-living Kellie didn’t render pork fat all afternoon and then go out to shoot bow in the early evening with the rest of the family. She didn’t preserve herbs and can pickled salad. She didn’t sit still for twenty minutes to listen to the wind through the treetops or nap on the ground just because the quickening day was kind and the thick moss so welcoming. She didn’t decide to forgive before she’d ever had her say. And she never intentionally rose around midnight, pulled back the curtains and then returned to bed to moon-gaze until the soft full light whispered her back to sleep.
The shift is not just in the seasons right now, and it is a delicious awareness that can watch and celebrate the little bits and pieces that make life so full, so sigh-worthy.
The pregnancy is going well despite an unusual finding on the second trimester ultrasound. The baby has a Single Umbilical Artery (instead of two arteries), and the condition, which occurs in about 1 in 100 pregnancies, has a lot of scary statistics attached to it. I frantically read everything I could find online in the first 24-hours of knowing, and then I wished we hadn’t ever been told. But with great effort and mindfulness, I’ve calmed down and can acknowledge it all without fear. I’ve given it to God, to the Great Big Everything. She has been my comfort these last many weeks. When I cradle my belly feeling the insistent movement of this determined little life, I can also feel Her nurturing arms holding me strong, reminding me that everything is as it should be, that it will all work out perfectly.
As I neared hour 40 of labor with Iris, my waters long since broken, still not dilating beyond a centimeter and a half, I sat in the lukewarm bath and sang the only song that would come. “Que será, será. Whatever will be, will be. The future’s not ours to see. Que será, será.”
That is what comes to me now, as I look up to the skies through the kaleidoscope leaves of the birch and the popple. It is a blustery day, not rainy this time, and the trees dance instead of the five-year old and me.
We start new routines. We rid ourselves of what serves us no longer. We fear and find our way through it. We love. We squabble. And we do as we are told, taking very good care of this mama’s body and this little life warrior. Whatever will be, will be … yes … but also …TNT Dynamite! I might be a moon-gazer, but for my Iris flower and my little belly-kicker, that song feels a lot more their speed.