I suppose it’s no coincidence that I have been watching back to back episodes of ‘Call the Midwife’ on Netflix in the week before this Mother’s Day. It is a wonderful show, that puts us right in the heart of sisterhood in all its forms, and with the men who grace our lives and make motherhood possible. It hasn’t taken long to get invested in every single character and their stories, watching and listening while I knit and sew.
And I haven’t been able to stop crying for days. They’ve felt like cathartic tears, and as much as I have tried to focus in on the place in my heart that aches when a fresh wave comes, I haven’t able to look the reason directly in the eye. With so much to be grateful for, I have been determined not to be a victim or give into what I think might be loneliness or despair, of not having a sisterhood, or family surrounding me in a way I imagined, for feeling as part of something as tangible as in the portrayals I have been watching. I realized each time my thought landed on my e-husband and what could have been, the tears would come up fresh and hard.
I’ve come to a place in my life where I am quite determined that I can manage on my own in a certain way. But not necessarily in all ways, and as I grow into ‘my’ way, I know I must also experience the growing pains that come with being with others a new way. We’ve been divorced for ten years now and I have resolved and accepted that it was what needed to happen. But I have not resolved that it was because there wasn’t love. The love that lives in every cell, that is there for my family and my children and the joy of connection I feel with so many, is still there for him too. I finally called him. And he came to sit and talk with me. I made soup, and he brought cheese and bread. I talked around and around my heartache, shed lots more tears, and he listened and offered his wise presence. I felt myself rear into an old pattern of resisting his offerings, and then relax into the trust that was still there if I just let it be. We watched a movie, the dogs were thrilled to have someone to fawn over besides me, and the afternoon passed in peace.
Later, I reached a place in my knitting project where I needed the turquoise yarn that reminds me of the sea, that now sat in a massive tangle in the bag where I put it after Yogi’s go at it. I was tired and looking forward to early bed after the day of sitting with my tears, already dark, and the fire was going out. But I pulled the tangle out of the bag and began to channel my mom. She loves puzzles like this, she is good and de-tangling things and if she had been here, I’ve no doubt it would all be in a tidy ball by now. I began slowly following the thread of yarn around and under and through. It was very slow going and three hours later it was almost midnight and I needed to give it up. I was right back at it this morning with the next episode of ‘Call the Midwife’. There is something cathartic too about the slow dips and weaves of this process, of pulling the fuzz off the line and accepting the not so new condition that I am left with. I am channeling my mother, and all the mothers before her who have dipped and weaved around the heartbreaks and the joys of being a mother and feeling so much. I think of the two times that I was so honored with the gift of giving birth, in attendance with midwives and the presence of my own mother, and celebrate this with the worldwide sisterhood of mothers today.
The ball has grown quite large wth my labors. There is still a bit of a tangle to go. Of course there is.
The tangle is always there, maybe not always visible, but a glorious reminder nevertheless of all that is calm and good in the patience to see something for exactly what it is.