Friends, I can't tell you how happy I am to be writing again in this space. Happy, but overwhelmed, both with all that's happened since my last post back in August, and with the complete transformation my life has taken since last year at this very time.
You see, the thing is, Rob and I went through a four-year battle with infertility. I have never written publicly about our struggle before, for reasons including wanting to avoid unwanted advice to wanting to keep infertility from infiltrating every part of my life to, later, a fear of alienating readers who may still be in the infertility trenches (I'm all too aware how reading, "We're pregnant!" can be tragic, even if the news pertains to a stranger.) Even now I'm clutching to find the right words to sum up the shattering, bottomless experience of tests, medications, procedures, disappointments, disappointments, and disappointments.
Except...exactly one year ago, I finally got to see two lines on the stick. And deep in the winter of 2010, our Ben was born.
Nothing I can write about infertility sounds right to me - everything I peck out seems either overwrought, insufficient, or too contained to capture the journey, especially in retrospect. So I'm not going to try to pontificate on the experience or dwell on the details. But I do want to finally whisper "thank you" to the group of bloggers (especially her, her, her, and her) whose writing has sustained me (correction: is sustaining me) in ways they'll never know. It takes courage and energy to write through such a process as infertility (and pregnancy after infertility...and parenting after infertility). These women have both in spades.
So. What does all of this have to do with my garden?
The "fertility" metaphor was powerful and all-consuming to me, to the point of imbuing my time in the soil with deep meaning....and all but shutting down my garden writing. I was obsessed with all things that grow - or don't. But the "why" of it all felt so huge, it ultimately choked out my ability to articulate any insights or feelings about it.
Later, once I actually became pregnant, I found myself so superstitious, so haunted by the spectre and possibility of loss, that my "pregnancy journal" was written on pages torn out of a yellow pad, one by one, so as to avoid having to face words written lovingly and excitedly in a fresh, expectant book.
And, I didn't even keep a garden journal last year, the first season in our lovely new backyard, because if things didn't go well with the pregnancy, I would have felt equally destroyed by either a lush or desolate vegetable patch.
But today, Rob and I set Ben up in his stroller, parked with a view of our three raised beds, and we planted seeds. Not to put too fine a point on it, but we found ourselves reflecting on the process in a profound and emotional way. Last time we sowed, thank God, thank God, thank God, we were able to reap. Not that peas and lettuce are comparable to what we "planted" a year ago, but ultimately, a seed is a seed, right? A spark in the soil.
Have you signed up for my feed yet? It's easy - just click here!