Skirts & Flying Red Braids


Saturday, October 31st, at 7:17 in the morning I turned away from the glowing pink range of mountains fringing my home and into a glorious sunrise, starting out upon a twenty-one hour, 1200 mile journey eastward to wait upon my daughter, as she and her husband wait upon the child ever growing within her swelling belly.

Like the morning I discovered Hannah herself had taken root within my depths, I know I’ll remember the morning Hannah called to ask me to be her midwife until my dying day. She actually woke me when she called, as I’d spent the night prior helping to welcome someone else’s new granddaughter into her parents’ arms. From little girl daydreams to the birth of my first child, through twenty-five years of wifing, mothering, and midwifery – it seems a lifetime passed in mere moments, bringing me to the very doorstep of grandmotherhood, even while all those other moments, aged as they are, still feel fresh.

I was glad to be alone as I flew along the ribbons of road slicing through the endless expanses of sky and golden grasses. It gave me time to think about the nearly half century worth of days I’ve lived so far, and to remember that many of those days, especially my earlier days, were spent pining for days to come. It startled me to to realize I’ve experienced almost every day I pined for, and sobered me too.

I arrived at my daughter’s at 5:17 Sunday night. I looked up as I pulled in to see Hannah run toward me – skirts and red braids flying – looking all at once like the little girl she was and the woman she is – and, again, it seemed all the moments of my life were present there within that new moment. Later in the evening that haunting feeling of mingled moments swept over me again as I sat upon Hannah’s bed, listening to her baby’s hiccups and heartbeat with the three little people she lives with crowding my elbows and knees, each eager to listen to Hannah’s baby too – three little people I met and listened to while they were yet inside their mama.

I can’t help but wonder what will fill my remaining days, beginning with these next few days waiting for my grandchild to come join us, but I’ve decided against pining for any of them, knowing that each will come with unfathomable richnesses.

I know all the days of my life will come. They always, always do.

Photo provided by Hannah

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