I got up around 6:00 the morning I took this photo. My body really wanted to sleep, but my soul needed some time alone outside to bask in the golden light of summer. I never used to be a morning person, but I now find the early hours of the day to be quite sacred. There’s nothing like being the only one awake in a quiet house as the first rays of sunshine find their way through the windows. Heading outdoors just as the dew starts to evaporate and the birds begin flitting about is a rare occasion that I treasure as well.
Although pregnancy is an amazing gift in and of itself, I don’t seem to enjoy the glory or glow of it that so many women describe. This summer has felt like more of a sojourn to a dark swamp than a bright and beautiful season. I hesitate to admit all of this because I don’t want to sound ungrateful. I know I’m lucky to be forty and healthy and pregnant. Extremely lucky. I also know that these hormone levels are overwhelming. I am a sensitive person, yes. In addition to that, impending childbirth seems to reconnect me to a very tender part of myself where the pain of losing my mother resides. Having my daughter in 2011 made me miss my mom even more. Expecting for the second time is proving to be a similar experience. The fourteen year anniversary of her death is just a couple weeks away. Labor Day, of all days. There is still a darkness caused by her loss, but there are also moments I happen to catch glimpses of my mom in my life. Sometimes they’re in the mirror; a quick glance as I brush the hair out of my face or grab the toothpaste from the cabinet. I see her in me: the exhausted mommy who just wants to do a good job. Other times, I recognize her in the face of my daughter, particularly the bow of her lips. I also sense her when I’m outside, surrounded by Queen Anne’s Lace. For some people it’s a weed, but for me it’s her wildflower namesake. And even though my hair is dark, there are fleeting moments when the sun hits it just right so the strands burn with the same fire as my mom’s red hair. She’s not here in the flesh anymore, but I know her energy is still around, especially when I allow the warm light to embrace me.