Thursday, March 25, 2010
A wild night.
These are Mary Oliver’s words from The Journey:
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
These are mine:
It was October, 1987, the evening was dark and dense with rain and wind. What had started as a gentle breeze was now the Great Storm that dragged dustbins across gardens, uprooted trees and sent branches flying. Roof tiles littered the air. Across an ocean my dear father-in-law was rushed off to hospital with a stroke, destruction lingered in our house as a bad smell. That is when I felt the pain. It started somewhere in my lower back and continued full circle. Soon I set off for hospital myself.
But my pain was a good one. After some hours of pushing, pressing, sweating and breathing a boy lay peacefully in my arms, sucking.
I have often wondered about this: When you are surrounded by darkness, are you allowed to laugh? And whilst giggling and having fun, can you stop for a moment to feel the pain?
And yes, he was fine. My father-in-law I mean. We are off tomorrow, across an ocean, to visit him and his dear, dear wife.