Poetry

Life Here Is Not Only Madness

For whatever reason after I finally posted, A Mother in Warfare, I could not write any new words. Not really. I read through old work and edited an old poem making it better. But truly new words? New ideas? Not a thing. Perhaps due to a few things. Who can really tell? I have my suspicions. No one thing the sole culprit.

You can push through writer’s block fine enough, but this particular time (these days in general) didn’t seem like a time for pushing through. It seemed like a time for waiting. Just letting that absence of creativity lie dormant. Of not forcing beautiful words on a page. I had none, anyway. I was blank space.

But then my husband and I were in the garden with our son. He turns two this August and I’m already getting excited. I’ve been thinking of his birthday since I was early pregnant with our daughter. Birthdays light up my soul, I suppose.

And his is so special.

I can remember the anticipation I felt leading up to his birth. I can feel those long days of labor. Picking zinnias before going to the hospital (the first time, heheee). The laughter. How he felt on my chest in those first minutes. Bringing him home to sunflowers and our first walks in the garden holding him tiny in my arms. I was thrown into this kind of magic that hasn’t stopped. I’m getting carried away. Like I said. . .birthdays.

And more specifically the birthdays belonging to my children.

Well, anyhow, he’s almost two and that evening in the garden, we picked him a snow pea and showed him he could actually eat it. I hope I never forget his face. It will always be one of the sweetest things I’ve experienced earth-side. A moment so small and so big and beautiful. . .his realization that some things grown in the garden can be picked and eaten too.

And for me? I felt I could write again after that. I didn’t know what the words would be just then, but they would come soon. The following poem feels like a way forward after my latest, Even Mothers, Even Here.

So here we go. . .the words that came that evening after June snow peas in the garden.

Snow in June

after too much death

much too soon,

after wrestling with the words,

after all the words ran out,

after the Psalms ran on audio,

after nursing my daughter in

the dark of morning

afraid of lights out, life out,

of bad news down like

lightening,

I’m in the garden with my son.

he’s standing, loved, between us.

and he’s full smiling, hint of grinning,

we’re picking snow peas in June.

now height of morning light in evening

watching him taste and see

the fruit of our hope,

that this fruit even exists

that it can be for him. . .

not untouchable like the roses

not to save like the daisies

not to spare like the pink blossoms

. . .but to pick and eat,

its beauty in the tasting

its joy in the process.

eyes alight, its snow in June,

us right there with him.

fresh delight and nightfall soon. . .

life here is not only madness.

for I have also tasted,

and I have also seen.

the Lord, indeed, is good.

I’m not sure what I’ll write next or when. . .?

I’m in the days I can’t really explain.

I can imagine a mixture of postpartum, mothering two, shifting into a new camp season, wrestling with my fear of loss, trusting God with my whole being, and experiencing my faith deepen has life demanding my full attention without margin or capacity to write. I may be a solid two months past giving birth to my bright-eyed, wonderful Heidi, but I’m only a solid two months past. So there’s a lot still happening.

But Shasta is on his Y Bike in the bathroom batting his toddler hand at the dust particles floating in the morning sunlight.

And Psalms 16:8-9 upholds me in the night.

I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure.

Heidi smiles at the drop of a hat.

Words will come again. The days sure do. I’m grateful for every single one.

So while I wait, grow, heal, learn, deepen and surrender, I think I’ll enjoy another snow pea in the garden this evening.

motherhood

The Garden Welcomes My Daughter

If the garden told the story,

there was nothing much to see,

until she put a garden under me.

a rosy bush, a sunflower,

some weeds, some grass, all joy.

so maybe it was she who was the flower first.

-the tree

the only light I will ever know is the way your hand held mine.

thank you for such hope and cheer.

thank you for planting me.

thank you for the celebration in the midst of all our waiting. . .

it didn’t turn out the way we wanted,

but I really loved my life.

-the seed

I make way for light, the underground of hope.

when it’s a flower, it’s also me. . .

the wellspring of a story,

writing a beautiful thing

without seeing the light of day.

well, that’s the impossible, magical thing

of being the unseen.

-the roots, deep

I won’t be here long,

but I love how long you wait for me.

with eager hope and eyes to see.

we both have wintered well.

let’s enjoy the view.

I am the blush of spring,

and so you are to me.

-the rose bloom

it was safe to be like dirt in a garden yet to grow.

and it was hope to bloom like a wanted thing

from a broken pot of dreams.

and after the burial, the burst of the flower,

who knew this was me.the gardener

and so the gardener, the roots and rose,

the tree and the seed waited and welled with joy.

life had already been, and it was really good.

but so much more was coming.

first spring, soon after, her.

all garden arms wide open for

the tiniest bundle of sunshine. . .

here comes the gardener’s daughter.


As for the gardener’s daughter? Well, I’ll let her tell her own story as she lives it. I am excited to get to know her as a person! She’s just shy of a month earth-side so we have a million things to catch up on as she grows into herself.

Make no mistake, this postpartum season hasn’t been without tears or overwhelm. It’s been a ride with highs and lows. I took this picture in the garden last week and also took a home video right there with our cat curled up on my lap, my son toddling around, and my newborn daughter resting against me. I know I’ll treasure this 60 second video forever. This particular moment(s) in the garden was much needed and so sweet for me as a mother.

I’m learning so much right now and feeling the discomfort that comes with breaking out of an old shell, working through postpartum healing and hormones, and growing deeper into my life as a mother. I am excited for what’s to come. Postpartum is far from over. But I’m here for it. Here for my life. Here for my motherhood. I am 100% here.

And God is here with me.

Here is the best place to be.

Poetry

She Would Know It Soon

cold hands held the seeds.
I among them.
it did not feel like celebration. . .
maybe once,
but these were clammy dreams,
lines in her hands going nowhere,
just holding me, holding seeds,
hoping.

but isn’t it a wonder
that fragile beginnings
empty of vision
never determine
the vibrant awakening
of a garden.

and she would know it
soon.

-S.V.F.


photo of our garden entrance days before we brought our firstborn home to sunflowers and zinnias. what began in a grocery cart during the pain of infertility turned to this.❤

our firtborn a couple weeks old amidst the sunflowers
our firstborn a year old playing in the garden that he loves

I wonder what kind of garden we will bring our spring baby girl home to in a few days or so?❤ I’ll be sure to let you know.

Garden Lullaby

I’m Going to Be Here Too

Garden Lullaby, April 15, 2020

SO VERY WOW!!

I love that flowers have taught me how to anticipate life. It’s exciting to see the buds and watch them slowly expand. And it’s thrilling to look and suddenly see a flower in all its glory! I would go so far as to say it’s the 8th wonder of the world.

Flowers help me look forward, but they also teach me to sit still. This daisy won’t be here forever, but while it’s here, I’m going to be here too. I’m going to savor this beautiful thing, and I’m going to be excited for all the beautiful things coming next.

Plant your feet.


Two years later and that little daisy bush (originally purchased as a plastic pot of flowers from the grocery store) is going strong! It spreads and billows and multiplies. While this is the end our Garden Lullaby series, the garden journey, this billowing-out life of mine is far from over.

Pictured below is an ultrasound of our second child due any day this spring. I began gardening when my husband and I were in the deep end of infertility, and now as the garden grows, so does our family. God did the miracle of life in more ways than only giving us children (and you can read that journey in Hope Gives a Eulogy), but He has given us children as part of this life saga, and I savor the gift!

I am surrounded by miracles. I love that the garden is a picture of my soul, of what God has healed, made well, made beautiful in me and around me.

And so maybe it’s true. . .

Perhaps the best and most spectacular stories really do begin in the most unlikely of places.

Like a grocery cart.