It was a balmy day here on Long Island. The misty fog that enveloped the south shore temporarily made our yard feel more like a movie set as my husband and I made our way through it, doing our final clipping and clean up in what is an unusually warm December.
“Did you see the Forsythia?” he asked towards the end of our seasonal odyssey that starts in April.
“What do you mean? Are all of the leaves off of them now?” Our forsythia hedge losing its leaves tends to be the sign for our final yard work session of the season.
“No….we HAVE forsythia” he commented. It was December 14th as I rushed over and witnessed the same bright yellow blossoms that normally greet us in mid – April, proof of thawing things to come as we are all getting antsy for some warmth.
As an infertility survivor grieving and mourning the loss of my children that never got to exist, I don’t feel much resonance with life or people these days. When I do it is delicious. And unquestionable. And believe me, I make sure to stop and drink it in.
And I know, I know this is the part where I’m supposed to be proving my “good personness” by fretting about global warming, where I’m expected to say that it just doesn’t feel like December here on the north-east coast of the United States and golly I’m so yearning for a white Christmas.
(Insert defiant eye roll here).
Truth is, for those of us healing from untimely life altering traumatic losses, normalcy can be painful, and on a good day, utterly baffling. Vibing with the oddity of our winter forsythia, on the other hand, came to me quite easily.
So there I was, gazing at it in awe. I stared at it, taking it all in, and it back at me. It, the face of damage done to nature by the human race, and I, the face of damage done to the human race via infertility by nature. We understood each other.
We both had been forced to abandon the supposed greater scheme of things for the sake of the moment.
We are actively being fully alive by responding to forces beyond our control. What else, really, is a living thing supposed to do?
We both produce beautiful flowers under duress that no one else seems to be happy about. Except us.
We’re out of sync and it’s not our fault.
Ultimately, we’re two cellular beings doing the very best we can under less than sensical circumstances.
As I make my way through this second holiday season without our children, some changes are showing themselves. I’m socializing a bit more, and no doubt there are some joyful moments here and there. But I’ve been plagued by an ominous half here, half not here dizziness as of late. People’s peripheral entrenchment with gifts and holiday destinations fall on a partially deaf heart. After all, mine’s been just a tad occupied with grief, the recalibration of my marriage, re-learning what I need and how and who I’m going to be in this world, figuring out what I’m going to be when I grow up, self – care, finding my voice, feeling and processing the void, healing and deciding if we should stay in the house we bought to raise our children in. In the quick sand of such unknowns and colossal transformations, the holidays are a mere afterthought, and I, a passer – by as opposed to a participant. A white Christmas? Who gives a shit. My children aren’t here, and as a result, I’m going to feel sadness and enjoy whatever I’m able regardless of what color Christmas is.
In the meantime, I’ve got an offbeat weather pattern to ride the tails of that’s as out of place as me, one that is also kindly diverting me from the pang of normalcy. And I’ve got my December forsythia to converse with.
I catch a glimpse of it out of the corner of my eye while cleaning up the kitchen.