As I write this, it is my birthday. I am 32 years old.
I’m not sure what it is about these milestones that pulls out of me the vestiges of sadness that live in the crevices of my life.
My children would be two this year, in October (2014). They never made it to their birth day, so instead, I silently mark time on mine. Perhaps it makes sense; they were a part of my body and now are a part of me forever.
We took a trip over the weekend to beautiful places. We spent long days and fell into bed at night, our legs entwined. The time was filled with laughter and conversation, dreams and aspirations for the future. We didn’t talk about them; we never do. But, they are always with us.
They live in the spaces in between our words, and in the instant that a sad song comes on and he taps the right arrow to skip it. They are in the far off look in his eyes, and the catch in my throat when an infant cries.
My great regret is that I cannot think of them or anything they might have been without tripping over the lid to a deep well of sadness. It feels like a particular cruelty that I do not have one shred of happiness to cling to when it comes to them, our greatest creation.
No, that’s not true. The woman I’ve become because of them is a better one than ever I was before, and that is a gift.
We did a lot of driving on our trip across this beautiful state. We passed a field on our way, where the farmer was slashing and burning. My city boy husband asked why they burned.
“The fire burns everything away, and leaves the soil clean for planting,” I told him.
It is remarkable and humbling what that loss did to my life. Before it, I had no idea of the tinder that lay all around, just waiting for the incendiaries that would incite all parts of my world to simultaneously combust.
Now, the question remains. Have I been washed clean because of it? I don’t know the answer, but I will plant my seeds anyway and simply hope that they grow.