Thursday, May 10, 2012

Bigger Picture Moments: I Am Alone


Mama, do you see this?

It's our secret place.  There's moss on the floor, and a little clearing with a stump. 

Okay, I promise.  We won't go any further in -- you'll be able to see us the whole time.

But we have to be alone, okay?  It's our fortress...



And I am alone. 

The baby is asleep in a curtained room, the sisters are spinning adventures in their canopied glade, and I am alone.  A wind pushes at my eyelashes, daring me to blink.  Trying to force my eyes into letting go.

It's what I've been chasing all day, I think: silence.  The lack of being needed or called or required.  I've tried to create it with coordinated rest times and strategically placed videos, but it's been elusive.  Busyness crashed around my edges willfully.  Defiantly.

But the silence is here now, stuffing into my ears like a twist of squeaky cotton; instead of comforting, it irritates.  I want to step forward into the wildflowers and push aside the boughs of young trees to hear the secret world of sisters.  I want to lay a blanket in the winking sunshine as it drops behind the forest and lie next to a giggling baby boy.  I want to discuss nothing with my husband, focus on the timbre of his voice filling the sky.

The wind shifts and I am assaulted with honeysuckle.  Or lilac.  Or both.  A superhigh falsetto reaches me from the forest -- a wood fairy, maybe.  A slender wisp of loneliness curls around my neck, sending shivers dancing along my arms.  I know I should be enjoying this moment, backing away to the porch with a book or a sweating glass of iced lemonade.  I should be smiling at my luck: I've achieved solitude at last.

Instead, I stand rooted to the grass -- bonded to this moment as solidly as I am excluded from it -- watching and waiting for the neediness to return, when I will probably bristle at its touch.  I am inconstant and full of my own neediness. 

I am a mother.

I rest my hands on my hips and turn my back on the mossy fortress and the secrets of sisters.  I face the honeysuckle.  Or the lilac. 

And I am alone.





We're seeing the Bigger Picture through simple moments -- moments that force us to stop and take notice of the ways our worlds are important, meaningful, and beautiful.  Please join us here today! Grab the button, link up, and read a few others to encourage them as they find the fullness in the simple.

15 comments:

  1. Such beautiful words, friend...your writing is stuff to float away on, is what I always think.

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  2. Very poignant piece ~ takes me to a place I've been so many times...and more and more as they grew. Releasing them, "it", the purposefulnees of motherhood and 're'learning alone. This is just beautiful!

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    1. It's quite a dance, I guess-- here's hoping I (we ALL) don't wear out too easily!

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  3. Oh this line is so powerful: " -- watching and waiting for the neediness to return, when I will probably bristle at its touch. I am inconstant and full of my own neediness." You paint such a vivid, visceral picture of feeling torn between two essential needs or natures. It seems it shouldn't be too much to ask for: company without demands...and yet so hard to get sometimes. You really captured this beautifully!

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    1. Oh, company without demands!! I think this is the essence of what my soul really cries for, you know? And it's why I have Justin :) Because it will be YEARS (if ever) before I reach this point as a mother. Thanks for your comment, Jade!

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  4. This, too, is my life. The waiting to be needed. And the waiting to not be needed. The finding of balance between the two, and the realizing that there is no such thing when it comes to this. Your descriptions linger in my mind.

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    1. We're all in this together. That should make it easier, but... ;)

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  5. It is all a part of the push and pull of mothering. It never seems to change either. You have captured the feelings so wonderfully.

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  6. I have missed your blog...sorry I haven't been stopping by recently; we're going through a big move here and I don't know which way is up. However, I love this post. Being a mother really means being always surrounded...and always alone, doesn't it?

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    1. I'm glad you're here, Sarah! Your comments are always so encouraging-- thank you! But take your time getting settled and resettled. I know you're out there :)

      Always surrounded and always alone: that's the whole thing in a nutshell/straight-jacket :)

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  7. I'm a new mother with a very needy baby and yet I have already felt this. I also thought I was irrational. Glad to know it is normal. You write so beautifully, I disappeared into your words.

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    1. Oh yes, you're normal! As far as irrationality goes, I consider that the first hallmark of motherhood-- you've officially arrived ;)

      Thank you for your kind words! I'm so glad you could feel what I was putting out there.

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Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?