I believe I shall never see...something as lovely as a tree...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Our house is surrounded by many beautiful trees: oaks, maples, firs... For a tree lover (and tree hugger) like myself, it is a wonderland (although Peter is in a little less wonder when all the leaves start falling and piling up...) The nursery is a room that shoots off of the master bedroom. It was probably initially built to be a huge closet or, as the previous folks had desired but not started, a master bath. (Which, incidentally, Peter would like to see it once our nursery needing days are done... in 20 years or so... LOL) From our bedroom, you go through the door to a small room that has been designated as Peter's closet, which enters the nursery (from main door to nursery door is possibly 2 feet; the closet section is to the right and perhaps extends 3-4 feet across). The nursery is L shaped, with the larger portion where the furniture will go and the thin, jutting out section where my rocking chair sits, with a beautiful window view over our backyard. And this particular tree...

We moved last September 15th and conceived October 27th. We had seen our reproductive endocrinologist on the 14th of September for a consult, and from the beginning (even before seeing her), when we saw this room, we both said "nursery". It was a given. It's perfect. As soon as we'd conceived, this became a room where I spent a lot of time. In darkness, in solitude, with nothing but my rocking chair... I spent many moments, rocking, holding my stomach, and looking out the window, looking at this tree, talking to Nicholas and Sophia.

I told them about the tree... How her leaves shimmered as they faded from green into red and yellow and orange, finally falling to the ground (and, since this was before Peter realized he'd need to rake those bad boys up and bag them, I told them about the carpet of autumn that laced through our backyard like a delicate crochet). As fall passed into winter, I told them of the bare branches, rained and iced, waiting for a snow that didn't fall. And then, I was no longer in my chair, and no longer watched our tree.

After Nicholas was born Feb. 1st and I was sent home on the 4th, I was on bedrest. Our good friends, Tom and Sarah, met us at the house from the hospital (this after Sarah had driven down clothes and, being the best friend she is, sat with me while Peter showered and made conversation that I dont remember but that was calming). Sarah sat and cried with me, and just held me while I lost it for a moment, then tried to talk things out to get us both calm, while Peter and Tom took our bed apart and moved it into the living room, since stairs were out of the question. We lived in our living room for those 2 weeks. The shades were closed, partly because I couldnt bear the thought that life was going on in the world outside when my son was dead and my daughter's life hung in the balance, and party because I slept all the time and the shades kept whatever light there was out. I looked out once, when Peter told me it snowed, but that was it...

After Sophia was born, I was holed up in the house for 2 months. Peter would convince me to go out for walks in the neighborhood every morning before he'd go to work, small walks because my leg muscles were in terrible shape from being flat for 2 weeks and not walking at all, not even to the bathroom. I'm sure that my eyes saw trees but my mind didn't process what was happening. I was a shell.

When I finally emerged to go to work, it was April and buds had started on the trees, but I took no notice. When I went into the nursery, I just clung to their blanket and wept. I didnt look out the window at our tree, didn't see it move from winter into spring, from spring into summer. I didn't watch the new baby buds transform into a thick covering of different shades of green. It was as though a shade had been pulled down, even as light streamed in from the life emerging outside. The room was dark and I made no effort to change that.

Finally, in the summer, we decided to pick out paint and begin the nursery's transformation. When we moved in, the room was not finished; the walls were marked with beams but there was no drywall. We chose a beautiful green paint and had the walls done. But work stopped, since baseboards to match the rest of the house had to be ordered. But Peter returned my rocking chair to it's corner by the window. And it sat empty throughout June and July.

By the end of July, we hoped that, around Peter's birthday, we would be blessed with a new addition (or two). I finally sat down in my chair in early August and finally saw our tree, bursting with green leaves... I didn't sit long, and, because of the busy times that followed, haven't really sat down until recently... In darkness, in solitude, with nothing but my rocking chair... I spent many moments, rocking, holding my stomach, and looking out the window, looking at our tree, talking to Zoë.

I tell Zoë about the tree... How her leaves shimmer as they fade from green into red and yellow and orange, as they fall to the ground below. And, in these moments, I realize that I missed seasons of our tree... I missed spring, the time of new birth, and summer, the time of life... And this makes me think of all that I have lost, even as I begin a new cycle and a new life...

And so, I am left with this tree... This beautiful tree that I shared with my son and my daughter, that I share now with my new baby, growing within. My little mustard seed that is growing into her own kind of tree.

I believe that I shall never see...something as lovely as a tree...

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