I’m sitting in the rocker that Rick and I put into our bedroom to nurse and sit with our baby during the night. From its vantage point in the corner of the large room, one can look out the window at snowflakes gently falling on the cars parked on our street. The snow dulls the sounds of morning – when typically one can hear cars starting, kids walking to school, the opening and closing of creaking gates. This morning, occasionally I hear the scrape of a shovel on the huge old slabs of sidewalk that line the street. Other than that, the morning light slowly emerges, more strongly than normal, reflecting off the snow, but with it comes a silence indicative of winter.
As I sit in this rocker I feel movement in my belly. This part of pregnancy has become a constant for me. The stretching and banging and moving that emanates from my son within my womb is both familiar, and when I stop and give some thought to it, incredibly odd and foreign. As my pregnancy begins to near its end I think sometimes about how little gratitude I’ve offered to my body for its strength and vitality through these months of change. Someday, I may miss the movement of my baby inside me and recall the days when I was ripe with anticipation for his arrival. Many days, my focus turns to the inconvenience that can come with pregnancy – the fatigue, the irrepressible hunger of the third trimester, the fact that my body isn’t my own anymore. But, today, waking to the gentle descent of snowflakes I’m filled with a feeling of being truly blessed in my circumstances.
I recognize, sitting here this morning, a sea change in my attitude towards life. Last night as I labeled Ziploc bags and prepared to make dozens of frozen dinners (for postpartum times) I wondered aloud to Rick about our choices and whether we were setting ourselves on the course we desire. We both work hard and we both want to do well. We commit ourselves fully, and sometimes I wonder whether either one of us is capable of scaling back if we needed that. Last night as we talked I wondered whether we could turn the ship around if we decided to uproot ourselves and begin life anew elsewhere. This morning the light reflecting off snow, the bitter cold front that moved in overnight, and a long, slow wake-up of murmuring with Rick and Addie as we snuggled together against the chill of our room, leave me feeling refreshed and truly positive about our lives.
There is something about winter that stirs in me an inner camaraderie with all of humanity. Looking out at the cold reminds me to connect with the people around me and to offer them all the love and support I can give. Together we can make it through whatever comes our way. Today’s silent morning reflections bring me back to a sense of myself, amidst weeks of exhaustion, feeling too busy, and wondering how I will juggle the demands of life once we have a child. Today in the stillness, I sit in gratitude for the immense love around me, the generous spirit of my friends and family, and the beautiful natural world that periodically pivots to reveal another facet of itself and remind me that the vicissitudes of life are part of the dance – not something to fight against.