Fifteen years ago this moment – 2am on November 16th – I woke up to the sound of Jon quietly singing. It was a song that had never been sung before. A song newer than the baby he sang to. I opened my eyes long enough to see him rocking, staring into new eyes with love whose enormity I recognized, singing his song in a voice I had never heard before. I stayed awake long enough to realize my baby was safe and happy and my husband had undergone some sort of transformation while I was busy with the messy joy of birthing.
Fifteen years ago, on the afternoon of November 15th, Jon, with immeasurable awe, told me (and everyone who came to visit, including the nurses) that he could literally see his baby’s eyelashes growing.
Fifteen years ago, at about 7:45am on November 15th, a woman who was not aware of exactly what was going on in my room popped her head in to ask me if I’d like a muffin, and laughter added muscle to the work my body was doing, work which ended only a few minutes later, at 7:48am.
Fifteen years ago, at about 3am on November 15th, we drove through a sleeping world, more awake ourselves than we’d ever been in our lives.
Fifteen years ago, at about 11pm on November 14th, I noticed that my water had broken. Not in the cartoon explosion kind of way I had expected, but instead in more of a, “I think this means my water broke. Do you think this is what it’s like when your water breaks?” kind of way. As we waited to see how things would progress Jon slept and I read about the birth of islands. Read the same two paragraphs over and over with little understanding as 99.99999% of my brain thought of contractions and love and finally, finally meeting the person I’d waited more than 24 years to meet.
Years later, I returned to James Michener’s Hawaii and revisited the portionthat helped me through the beginning of my labor and planted an image of mighty waves that I pictured when I felt my own towering waves – contractions that felt like nothing I had ever felt, like nothing I could ever describe, and that brought forth not islands but a joy that would dwarf all that came before.
“Millions upon millions of years ago, when the continents were already formed and the principal features of the earth had been decided, there existed, then as now, one aspect of the world that dwarfed all others. It was a mighty ocean, resting uneasily to the east of the largest continent, a restless ever-changing, gigantic body of water that would later be described as pacific.
Over its brooding surface immense winds swept back and forth, whipping the waters into towering waves that crashed down upon the world’s seacoasts, tearing away rocks and eroding the land. In its dark bosom, strange life was beginning to form, minute at first, then gradually of a structure now lost even to memory. Upon its farthest reaches birds with enormous wings came to rest, and then flew on. ~James Michener, Hawaii
Tonight Dagny rests. Someday, when she’s ready, she will fly on, and when she does she’ll carry with her a love whose enormity grows every day, every minute, every second.