Thursday, June 19, 2014

In the morning, she'll be six, she'll glow in the early morning light

Genevieve willed herself to sleep earlier than usual tonight, knowing that when her eyes opened in the morning she would be six.  She and I are night owls, usually just the two of us staying up later than we should.  It's our time.  When as mother and daughter we are at our best. 

I reread her birth story tonight, grateful that I took the time to write it down and that I have this archive of life to find it. 

I rummaged through my not-so-tidy paper files to find a photo copy of this gardening column my mom wrote for her local newspaper, the Homer News, about Genevieve's birth from her perspective, thousands of miles away.

Here's the first half.  Grab a tissue.

There is comfort to be had in a garden, even at 4:30 in the morning.
Our daughter Andrea, called us early in the afternoon to let us know she had achieved full blown labor with her first child.  She and her husband, Andrew, were on their way to the hospital.
And the hours crawled by.
John and I had very little to say to each other all evening.  We were feeling very far away - she lives in a tiny town south of Bellingham.
Andrea is our only daughter, the one I talk to every day.  To say we are close would be an understatement.
And the hours crawled by.
At 4:30 a.m. I made a cup of tea and settled into a little wooden rocking chair, my favorite place in the house.  You can tell: my knitting is handy, and a book or two; and there's a good lamp.
Having lived in the Far North for the last 36 years, I have forgotten what early morning light is like anywhere else.  Here, it is soft and sets the garden to glowing.  The most lovely. comforting glow one could ever see.
I gathered that glow close to my heart and sent it to my daughter.
Lily-of-the-valley, doronicum, phlox subulata, trollius, clematis alpina, daffodils, muscari, little yellow poppies, even the strawberries - all glowing.
And the hours crawled by.
By 7 a.m. John had joined my vigil.  Silent, our hearts pulling toward Andrea.
Ringing phone at 7:15 a.m.: Andrew, "It's a girl!"
Welcome to the world, Genevieve Rosemary Vallee, may there always be a glowing garden in your life.
What would I do without my garden?  I have other interests, a social life.  But it's my garden that pulls me together, gets me through some interesting experiences.  Even in January, my favorite month (really) I look at photos of the garden, read about other people's gardens, read my journal, make plans.  A garden is never done, thankfully.
With Andrea in Bellingham, I get to garden at her house.  The lilacs were in full bloom in May, the peonies are at their peak at this very moment.  What fun!  I get to come home and have them all over again, extending my gardening pleasure.
Soon I will board an airplane and change Genevieve's diapers, kiss her toes, let her know she has an Alaskan Grandmama who loves her so very much.

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