Perennial Growth

Late summer. Tomatoes ripening in the garden as we pick the last peas of the season; a few tired maples beginning to turn toward autumn; cicadas, katydids, crickets singing deep into our dreams. We begin to look forward, into the change, into school and ripe apples and pumpkin pie.

Soon, my daughter turns one. I remember these final days of waiting last year, how I was ripe like the season, ignorant of all the pain and brokenness I would walk through this year. Because in many ways for me—and though I know this is not something I “should” say, not something acceptable in a culture that often views birth as a wonderful, transcendent experience—Ramona’s birthday was the worst day of my life, and though this year has been filled with much joy, it has also taken this whole year, will take much longer still, to fully heal from the terror of that day. Ann Voskamp and Sue Monk Kidd and Henri Nouwen and Frederick Buechner have guided, are guiding this journey into love—love for Ramona (how mysterious and wonderful the love of a mother for a child), love for my own broken self, love for the God who guides me into and through this painful journey.

This year, I am full of thankfulness. I am filled with eucharisteo. I am broken, but I am blessed.

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