The long night
I have been nesting, burrowing in. Although it has been bright and warm here, my soul is on northern time. The frantic worry of the autumn has come to an end. "It is night after a long day," goes a prayer for evening from the New Zealand Prayer Book. "What has been done has been done. What has not been done has not been done. Let it be."
Let it be.
My dining room is (mostly) uncluttered. The advent wreath is on the table, ready to be lit. It's not time yet, I tell the boys. I want them to know about waiting; the fullness of time. They will never know what it is to feel a child tumble inside them. To live so intimately with the unknown. I want them to understand how it feels to lean into not knowing.
In an interview for a radio documentary about my father, my mother recalled a time early in their marriage when he stood at the edge of a mountain ledge, spread his arms and tipped his body into the wind, letting it hold him up. My father wrote beautifully about pregnancy, better than any man I've ever read.
I've been moved to pick up the baby blanket I've been knitting on and off (I kid you not) for ten years. I began it when I was pregnant with my first child, and Patrick's mother was dying. When birth and death were over, I put it down to get on with life. Then picked it up again and knit through two more pregnancies and the death of two more parents, each time thinking it would be ready for the next baby. My babies are no longer babies, and Patrick and I aren't having any more. But I am ten rows away from finishing this blanket. I might even finish it today. I wonder what is pregnant or dying this time, what thin ribbon of light lies to the east or west of me.