The windows are wide open in the house right now. Spring is dancing back and forth, two steps forward one step back. The tree in our front yard suddenly burst into bloom while we slept last night. We woke up this morning and it was heavy with thick white blossoms after days and days of tightly coiled buds. Through the window screens come sounds of children playing and bossing, arguing and laughing. Three of them are mine and I care for a wee baby or cram in a bit of housework with one ear on an open window, counting them up over and over again with my eyes, one two three, there they are. Already once today, I’ve had to dash outside to rescue skinned knees.

The lace curtains are lifting lazily in the breeze and there is a clutch of blue bells sitting on the mantle.

Maggie Love is lifting her head to see how the world looks in the spring. In the late afternoon light, her fuzzy duck-fluff hair looks strawberry red. At night, she sleeps in our bed and I curl around her like a half-dozing parenthesis, nursing in the dark. We are each other’s breath, my nose buried in her chubby crepe neck, her face right against my skin. I read in a baby book once that newborns can identify their mother simply by smell and that mothers can do the same. I believe it. I believe it. I believe it.

The other night, I was sitting in our bed, nursing the baby. I had just had my bath and my hair was tightly bound on the top of my head, my face scrubbed clean of make-up. Brian took out his phone to take a picture of me. He never does this: some people take pictures and others simply do not. Brian is in the latter category, he also never answers email or posts on Facebook. But he said I looked so beautiful perched there, criss-cross-applesauce, baby in my lap, that he had to take a picture. Later on I scrolled through his pictures and I saw that photo. It was horrible, probably one of the worst pictures I’ve ever taken, unflattering, my face all shiny, no one would have called me beautiful in that moment but I didn’t delete it. He thought I looked beautiful in that exact moment, just days after giving birth, and that was enough for me. But I admit it, I made a mental note to teach him about lifting the camera up a bit when taking a picture.

The sun goes down later and later. Every night, I want to go for a walk in the sunset but I can’t seem to get out the door in time. I have felt like I have no words, or rather like I have too many. I keep sitting down to write because this is what I do, what I have always done. And then something or someone always interrupts within minutes and I leave it. Then I come back to what I was writing and think what in the world is this?

Life has gotten rather small now and so I notice the small things: the tree is blooming now, the moss in the forest out back has gone fluorescent green. The kids are getting taller, we watch Wheel of Fortune. The tulips are lovely and the cherry trees on the boulevards are bright pink, Maggie Love has a nursing blister on her top lip.

Everything else is far away. I think about my life a year ago: travelling, preaching, writing, standing on stages, appearing on panels and videos, offering opinions on everything to cross Twitter and the news cycle and the Church, and I wonder who that girl was, that must have been another season.

 

 

 

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  • Laaur

    Wow.

    • Laaur

      I mean, to clarify: wow. This was one bit of writing of yours in particular when I thought (felt!), “she is an artist.”

  • We still love you like a (Christian) sister in this marvelous stage too. Take it all in and know it prepares you to write again.

  • tpanariso

    Beautifully written. I feel as if I have crossed over from where you are now to another – from small to big(ger) and its funny just how little we recognize of ourselves in each, but how they are still within us even if they aren’t the active us.

  • Monna Clare Payne

    I love, love, love it, Sarah. Yes. It was another season. Seasons come and go – and come again.
    Right now the one you’re in is tender and precious and new and lovely. Thank you for sharing. It brings back memories. ❤️

  • Lovely words Sarah. Just beautiful. I think that maybe those who learn to love all the seasons (metaphorical and literal) know a few secrets about this life. Because they are all beautiful.

  • Such eloquent words. These are my favorite of the posts you write – raw, beautiful, just capturing the every day.

    P.S. We watch Wheel of Fortune too.

  • mothering spirit

    At their best, spouses see each other like God sees us, don’t you think? What a beautiful moment you captured, because of how he captured your own beauty, too.

  • Even if you aren’t doing some of those other things right now this clearly shows you are (even more so) still a writer. Thanks for the gift of these life giving words this Saturday morning.

  • I am also seeing the beauty in the small. I love this. When you write about your tinies, that’s pretty much my favourite. Thanks for opening up your life in this way.

  • P Torres

    I love the picture you paint with your words. I’m a writer also, and I love the challenge of making my words so real that the reader can taste them! 🙂 Keep up the good work.

  • Sarah Silvester

    Sarah, I just want to say how dearly I adore your writing when you have babies. I mean, I always love it but this is a favourite space … I know I don’t comment here as much as I used to buy I read every post that comes through my email and so appreciate you taking the time to write. Seasons yes, so true, I went back to work this week for the first time in 7 years and I feel bowled over by the change also. Love xoxo

  • Robyn Killey

    Thank you for sharing these little moments with us. I’ve just had my first bub, 5 weeks old now, and am feeling the smallness of my world. It is a precious time, but also hard to settle in to. Your writing gives me courage and reminds me that all over the world there are others mummas caring for their little ones and making it through each day just like I am. So thank you, you inspire me 🙂

  • pat emmons

    Thanks for sharing Sarah. Your husband is right. You are beautiful!

  • rachieannie

    I read once that nursing mothers instinctively curl around their babies in bed, with their knees curled up and an arm above their head to create a protective little bubble. After I read that I paid attention, and I absolutely do that every time I nurse my babe in bed. I’ve tried to change positions and I can’t do it, my body freaks out and can’t relax. God made us so cool didn’t he?

  • So happy for you, dear one. I love this looks into this life of yours.