Sunday, April 5, 2009
Every morning Noelle and Stephen take a walk. I will be in the kitchen, or bedroom, and they will come bustling in, hair windblown, cheeks red.
And Noelle always has flowers for me. She will see me and smile, and thrust her little arm out to me, a carefully held bouquet of wildflowers in her sweet little hands. She hands them to me and then throws herself in my arms and we smell them together.
I have often thought that when I leave this life, this image, Noelle smiling with her hand full of flowers, will be the heaven greeting me.
But there is something else that warms my breast when I see her so smitten with wildflowers, or gathering sticks, or gripping tightly to a rock.
I see that she is making this earth her home.
One of my deepest hopes for Noelle is that when she is grown she will feel she belongs to this world, and it in turn belongs to her. That it will care for her, and in turn she for it.
My hope is that when I can no longer cradle her in my arms, she will feel cradled by the earth and the warmth of the sun; and when my warm breath no longer falls on her, she will feel the breeze soothing her; and when I can no longer sing her lullabies, she will hear the sweet songs of the birds, and know it is for her.
I want her to know that her mother, who gave birth to her, thought her the light of her life, but even more than that, the Creator that gave birth to her mother and her mother's mother, and on and on, feels the same way. That every breeze, every song, is for her, from that which gave her life. She is not a random person floating in the oblivion of this world, whose life is formed by the whim of chance. She is a child of her mother, and a child of this earth, and both cherish and love her with all the energy of this universe.
When I see her light up at a flower, or push her hands deep in the dirt, there is something in me that knows she will be okay in this life, because no matter what happens, the earth will always be firm under her feet, the sun warm on her face, the moon lighting up the darkness, the stars reminding her of galaxies far away, the seasons coming and going.
And of course, there will always be flowers to smell.