remedy. an offering.

recently our community has seen some troubled times.

a young local musician, broughty cole, diappeared on monday night, march 3. he was in sacramento and supposed to be driving to nevada city to play a gig with his band, but never arrived. he became the focus of an enormous search and rescue effort by friends and family and eventually his car was found by the marina in sacramento. yesterday a body was found in the river near there; last night everyone's worst fears were realized: it was confirmed to be Broughty.

i know his mother and sister well and my heart breaks for them, for his brother, and for everyone involved. throughout the search and now, i have felt the pain of this deep in the tissues and marrows of my body. i think my sensitivity is heightened because i'm a mother myself now.the tragedies of life hit me harder and make me feel intensely protective. not only that but my imagination runs wild and the idea of that marina, the homeless camps along the river, the deep underbrush and thorny embankments, the sketchy things that go on along bike trails, the river itself, so powerful and deep, and the way that strangers come together both light and dark. i lay there at night with my babies close by and want to hold them in my arms and never let them go. it is scary to love this big. and to love so deeply in this big scary world. and to know that to grow is good, and to experience life makes it richer, so i can't just hold them in my arms forever. it is heart wrenching.

it's always most beautiful just after rain. lucy splashed in puddles for the first time. i laughed even as she dirtied her new shoes nana got her. she wants to walk up and down our hill all day, plopping stones into tiny pools of water, marveling over feathers and daffodils, looking for deer and squirrels and hopping clumsily over bumps.

before the rains, two merry bushtits spent weeks making a cool hanging nest in a plum tree out back, with its entrance hole toward the top, insulated and strung together with some wild yarn thick and strong of dust and fiber. they would shake the little sack from inside out, working away, and i waited to see baby birds emerge. but instead, the winds and rain came and the little mama and daddy bird abandoned that nest, now it hangs in a dreadful ruin. lucy has been extremely observant of this whole process and now knows that they have moved, and that the nest will fall from the tree eventually, and new babies will be born elsewhere. this all concerns her very much and (in her funny pidgin way) tells the story again and again.

other things have happened too. a fatal housefire that claimed the lives of two women, strong in the community, friends of friends, which later turned out to be a murder-suicide. a break up of a relationship that seemed like a lifelong partnership. the missing plane. sicknesses that drag on and on. isolation. anxiety.

but also, so much love. so much hope. it's all i can allow to fill my heart: love, hope, and a cheer that might seem tinged with desperation. and yet i feel it all truly, a wild cheer that comes from days full of babies and their pure delight. because even amongst all that darkness, there is so much light. and i'm talking about new babies everywhere. hope. promise. something big, something sweet, something new. creation. there are lots of new babies.

your children are not your children
they are the sons and the daughters of life's longing for itself. 
they come through you but they are not from you
and though they are with you they belong not to you.....


Milla said…
Oh sweetheart, we too have had some terrible things happening around us and felt the love and sadness that is community. Just today going to a hugely crowded memorial service for someone who, like Broughty, seemed to leave the world too soon. Lots of love to you and yours, those daughters of life's longing and wonder.
sanya said…
One of my favorites from Gibran. Thinking of you and your community.
Cel said…
There is no light without darkness, as difficult as the darkness is to bare. It's like the devastation after a forest fire... the land is scorched and black and you would swear that nothing could ever grow there again, yet sooner than you'd think green living things begin to sprout up from the scarred land and unfurl their stubborn living beauty in defiance of death and darkness. Some things even need that destruction before they have a chance to blossom. I try to remember that, when things are difficult, that as bad is it is, there is always more good out there to balance it out, if you know where to look for it. Your daughters are full of that light :)
Rachel Weaver said…
I'm so sorry to hear about your hard times, and I think your remedy is as perfect of a solution as this world is going to find. Keep looking for beauty and love.
Val said…
So beautiful, sending lots of love your way. Thank you always for your beautiful words and sharing with us!
dolly anna said…
the tenderness of the motherheart!
i too know that tiny bitter seed of fear and distress that comes with the shadows of life and future.
little people grow under our watch. it is true, they are not ours.

we can only hope the mother keeps them safe.
feeling this grief with you, hugging little ones tight!

i hope to see you and your sweet girls soon!

Tera said…
So sorry. Thank you for articulating those emotions that mothers know and I have come to know so well. I have felt at times truly insane for all of a quick 10 seconds for thinking the horrors I have thought but they appear for a reason. It's all Mommy brain and Mommy DangerDanger radars. I teared up reading your post. Very sad story. I am so exposed and raw now, I have never felt closer to the animal kingdom either, I feel I understand all Mommy creatures. I understand Mommies human and non-human. Oh yes, I understand the wanting to hold babies close and never let go and the love for babies everywhere. Sending you big warm hugs and peace light. XO
Lauren Knight said…
I'm so sorry to hear about all the tragedy in your community right now. Sending loving thoughts your way and hoping for some light and happiness.

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