It still hits me in waves.
Not like it did last spring. When my little garden was blooming and sheets of rain came down steadily day after day. I drank tea in the music room and looked out over the mint and the marigolds and all the beautiful shimmering living things growing there in the good fertile soil. And I grieved the little life that was just a flicker in my womb. I pulled my shawl around my shoulders as tight as a prayer, feeling the ache of loss go straight through my body and soul.
I will miss and carry the memory of this child every day of my life.
We have six beautiful, happy, healthy children. I am six months pregnant with our seventh living child. I feel him move inside of my body and I am comforted by the flutter of life that fills my womb once more.
I consider the deep mystery of what it means to be alive, to surrender to the process of waking up day after day with the desire to find meaning in the everyday beauty and joy and heartache and struggle of life. I think about this tiny baby, growing now in my body, and how there would have been no room for him in this womb if the child we lost would have lived.
This is a different spring coming. Today I am sitting in the music room, drinking English breakfast tea, watching sunlight dawn on the raised beds my Daddy built me four seasons ago. Very little green survived the winter here. Rosemary and a weary lavender, scattered spearmint and a sprawl of oregano. I have four bare little plots of earth. But there are secrets beneath the soil. Potatoes and broccoli and cauliflower, just below the surface. They will surprise me when they start to push through. I am anticipating the coming promise of color–tomato-reds, marigolden orange, the blush of roses.
I think that the coming of spring is stirring up remembrance in me for the little life we were just beginning to discover last year. And like an unpredictable late-Georgia winter, some days my tears fall as heavy as the biting February rain. And then there are other days. Bright and sunny, and sorrow is a million miles away, and you just want to soak it all in and be alive and stay outside and discover every new whisper of coming life.
It takes both sun and rain to make a garden grow. Both experiences are necessary. Both nourish and sustain life.
I want to lean into that truth. I want to take the bitter with the sweet. I want to be grateful for the surprising weight of grief that I feel at times over the little baby that I never got to know. Because it means that love is real. And I want to be grateful for the joy I feel in spite of a great loss. Because it reminds me that life is precious. That I am surrounded by love and in my little garden, beautiful things are growing all around me.