Monday, April 6, 2020

An open letter to my graduating senior

Dear Ezra,

Graduation has finally appeared on your horizon... and here we are, all inside. It's interesting that I notice a growing awareness of my womb lately. It feels heavy and full, with a low lying sense of aching as well. It resembles a kind of knowing, that includes remembering too. For this my son, is quite like how I felt mere months before you were born. It is imprinted on my heart forever, the day that 9/11 occurred, holding my large belly, wanting to keep you inside and safe forever. When suddenly love and protection did not feel enough. I recall in that aftermath, my heart giving way to profound feelings of fear and a guilty sense that I was somehow exposing you to a toxic new world. I felt irresponsible and the world felt collectively afraid. Planes were grounded, trust was elusive, and I was about to become a mother somehow...inside of it all.

And yet, I recall being struck by small things in those days too, just like now. Things I had previously taken for granted. Things that seemed to not take heed of the darkness that weighed heavy on hearts and minds and paralyzed us all. I noticed the birds and the sun and the sky, mostly. Because in spite of all that was being processed, the sun still rose and set and the birds still sang and the sky still painted pictures for us. And they were beautiful. And I believe part of my healing was allowing myself to feel into those things again. It was these small, grand things that allowed me to be whole enough to bring you forth, 42 days later. Eventually there was a connectedness that came out of that time as well, and it served as a soft landing spot for us all.

It was during this darkness that I found your light. My midwife spoke to me of "la luz" during your delivery. She coached me hard, telling me to envision pulling you up into "la luz" (the light) and to bear down into this and to really see it and feel it and imagine you seeking this too, and moving towards this...and I did. And well, this is how you came to be. You rose up strong and healthy and into great light. And in my heart I had this sense you would not only live a great life, but that you would be great. And I was not wrong.

The sunset delivers this truth and more, to me this morning as I write. Following a month of quarantine, with your senior year slipping fast and loose through your hands, you asked to go see the sunrise this morning. You told me that you created a plan with your friends, that fit within the boundaries that this new world has enforced upon you. You requested to drive, all in separate cars, to a scenic ocean spot, and side by side in your would all consume the sunrise. Together. And apart.
Of course I granted this to you. Of course.

To me, this is both heartbreaking and inspiring all in the same breath. You should be heading to school, to lacrosse practice, to awards nights, to your girlfriend's house, to the basketball court. Instead, after you finish taking in our divine mother earth, doing what she so beautifully does, you will return home. Alone, you will enter your room to turn on your chrome book and finish your school career. My heart is heavy and solemnly sad, and also incredibly proud. All at the same time.

Safe at home, not stuck at home. I have reframed this infinite times to cope in these last several days. To attempt to shape a more helpful lens through which we can all make sense of this. And it does help, usually. But today, I saw that same sunrise you made all your own and felt hopeful. I thought of the day before today too-when cloud cover made it so that there were no rays shining through to start the day. Overcast skies prevented the color palette from bleeding a water color painting onto the sky. The pinks and oranges of today, slowly curling upward, filling the sky were not the scene yesterday. But does this mean it was stuck? No. Of course not. It was still there, safely rising. Just like you.

You are not stuck. None of us are. My pride comes in your deep knowing. I see you managing and navigating this and while you have feelings, you have a knowing inside of you that understands this. Your wisdom understands that you are light. We are all light. This darkness will make way for us to rise up again, and the birds will be there to sing about it. Thank you my son, for reminding me that they are singing about it right now too.

Thank you for teaching me that we are not stuck and our sunrise will come again.


No comments:

Post a Comment