Living, Poetry

Agony in the Garden of Life

There is beauty in agony.

The angle of the fading sun spotlighting horses on a hill

The absence of pain between excruciating contractions

The way the air is sucked out of the room as the ailing takes her last breath

The chances, possibilities

      that never existed when there was no pain,

      no reason to take risks,

      Only a stasis that lured us into settling.

    There is no proverbial gain without the pain.

    Acute, clarifying, sharp —

      We never want it, but would stay the same without it.

    anxiety, Identity, Living, motherhood


    Snow on lilac blooms
    Snowflakes on lilac buds

    Melting on the green back of the sandbox

    Sunshine shower

    Birds chirping, snow falling

    Springtime in New England

    spring snow

    My daughter wanted to set up the sandbox today.  She’s been asking to hang the birdhouses outside for a month now.  She and her older sister roller skated in the sand lining the edge of the road.  She finally gave up when it started snowing.  It’s springtime now, but the scene outside the window doesn’t look like it.

    With an early release from school, I declared it a day to run around the backyard like nuts.  My three year-old was the only one with me.  I don’t waannnnnna go outside, said the eight year-old.  Can I have a snack first, asked the five year-old.  Belly full, she’s the one that hatched all those vernal equinox-inspired plans.  She has a very real sense of injustice.  When she awoke the first day of winter and saw no snow on the ground, she was pissed.  And now?  No Easter decorations up even though there’s snow on the ground?  What’s up, Mom?basket of snow

    The snow today actually had my back, though.  The first flakes floated to the ground mere minutes after her latest protestation about an empty sandbox.  One good thing about a schizophrenic mood change on Mother Nature’s part.  And one that I should be able to appreciate given my latest post!

    There really should be nothing bizarre about snow showers two days into spring, though.  Just because the calendar says it’s spring, doesn’t mean that we should wake up one morning to instantly green grass and gardens abloom.  Two days ago it was winter.  Two days ago snow was de rigeur.  The passing of seasons is a gradual progression.  Leave it to humans to expect instant results.  Leave it to us to restrict the moving of the days in tiny boxes on a calendar and expect the weather to follow suit.

    It was bizarre, though, to hear the symphony of birds gearing up for spring as the snow fell.  They were a twitter with nest-building, bug-hunting, flit-flying from tree to tree.  They seemingly paid no mind to the fat, wet flakes flying around them.  Maybe I should take a page from their book – rejoicing in the expectation of spring, knowing it’s coming, instead of lamenting the fact that it’s not here yet.  There is beauty amidst the cold and dark.  And there is the promise of warmth and light at the other end of it.

    Living, Poetry


    A round face filling the angular doorframe
    Which should be empty at this time of morning

    The five elements releasing the flow of tears

    A field mouse frozen to the driveway,
    its tail nudged by my toe

    A frantic whoop

    An anguished cry

    I won’t pick you up
    Brush off the snow and move on

    How quickly we forget the culture of death that pervades our lives.

    Until we are surprised again.