Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Walking by Houses in Spring

Yesterday we went to the Botanical Gardens to walk, between doctor appointments. Sally got an electric cart to drive around which seemed to amuse her to no end, as she drove ahead and turned circles in front of us for our enjoyment. The gardens were at the beginning of spring bloom, luscious and heady. There is a wetness to everything here that makes for good growing but I think also a permanent sense of cold in the bones for some. Sally at least says she doesn’t miss living here beside the Pacific. The beauty of the ocean and the coastline is overwhelming—majestic and heroic. Sally wrote a novel about the area; G told me that at times when she’s walking out on the bluffs she imagines herself the heroine of this book. I feel a similarly, but my heroine is more of the Jane Austin sort.

Dr. Wright tells us that G still isn’t ready—no dilation, closed cervix—and while we all want the baby out we also know that induction at this point isn’t a good idea so we resign to more waiting, more walking, more restless nights for G. Although I think she feels pretty well. Dr. Wright quickly proves to be the best kind of Dr. For one, he wears a button that reads: Listen to Women. But he is also very transparent and explains to us the risks and benefits of G’s options. He seems ready to do whatever G asks as long as it’s safe.

We return home to nap. Later I take a walk through town; the houses here are smaller than the big New England Victorians. Perhaps they also don’t have basements. Unobtrusive, short and cozy, the houses here have a different history, a different way of seeing. Yes, the houses see. I pass a ball park at the middle school where little leaguers are practicing. I watch the parents. All of me, unconsciously, inspects through observation the plight of the parent and child, wondering what it’ll mean to me, how I will experience this. I call my husband and he’s sick with a stomach bug. I tell him I want to go to Maine in June, to the Atlantic. I say, I want a baby. But, I don’t want to go through the loss again. Not a third time. Sally says you don’t get over loss; you plant a garden in the place where loss lives. Loss makes me numb and I think the best solution for me has always been to escape myself for a while and to serve others.

I sleep on a mattress on the floor of the nursery. It’s a small space but there are sliding glass doors that lead out to the rooftop patio. I open them slightly at night. I smell the outside world, earthy wet spring. Reading My Antonia, I think of Little House on the Prairie. I received the entire collection in the mail from my Grandparents for Christmas the year I was in the second or third grade. The early life of people in my country still fascinates me. The stories of horses plodding through snow, of snow tunnels from the house to the barn, of death and loss, and the plight of the farmer dependent on the cooperation of the weather, all make that world come alive for me. I don’t want to live it but I like to enter that world for a little while now and then.

My clothes are hanging on a line across the doorway when G peeks in on me, “I’m glad you’re here,” she says. “Me too.” I go on reading My Antonia until I can no longer fight off sleep and then I click out the light and dive under the sea.

1 comment:

Mayumi said...

emily, i am really loving following your journey here. thank you for the bravery and the sharing.