It is October. My husband and Ali V. and I went for a long walk in the woods yesterday, with shaggy Ferdi in the lead. The boys opted for some uninhibited "gaming" instead of enjoying the fall colors I was so eager for. It was o.k....I wanted time to just..."be".
October is beautiful in Montana. Truly stunning. We have all the color of Vermont maples in abundance...but...it's Montana, so it's all on a much bigger scale, and there are more open places to romp and admire. We chose the woods near the river that "runs through it". Beautiful. Red, orange, yellow, burnt umber...and...purple?
Yes. Purple. Purple and yellow flowers. Everywhere.
I guess we haven't had a frost yet.
Ever since we lost Simon and Alexander, purple and yellow have reached out to us from season to season. This year, as I felt the crunching of leaves underfoot, I was absolutely taken with the presence of flowers. Taken...with memories.
I've walked these woods before. Trying to find myself.
Trying to get a grip. On sanity...on life.
With a sleeping bundle of girlyness in my arms, and a two year old sheepdog leaping up ahead, I felt my husbands hand in mine. He saw the flowers as well...and they mean as much to him as they do to me.
Our little rainbow baby is a loud sleeper...she coos happily in an audible mantra of life. It's a good thing, because I'd be apt to try to wake her if she was too quiet...just to make sure...to make sure.
As she cooed noisily, I felt the tears rimming my eyes. They felt cold in the autumn air that I was breathing.
They would have been toddlers. They would have been chattering to each other in twin-speak. They would have...been.
When Ali V. stirred in her sleep, groping for the ever present nipple which she assumes access to on demand, I didn't hesitate to pull out my breast as we continued to walk in the woods. My husband laughed at my native look. Boob being suckled in the woods near the river as I trekked on without pausing even a step. I smiled...wiping the tears away.
I can do this. Yes. THIS I can do. Being "Ma MAM!" is easy for me.
It's the loss that was hard.
It's the loss that still stings.
Not only my own losses....but the losses that lay in the breasts of other mamas....the losses that continue. It's the loss that stings my heart as I listen to my darling daughters coos of contentment with full belly in the magical woods of Montana. The loss that has been...and will be. I felt a stirring of guilt in my wondrous fortune having become the grateful mother of this precious being who needs me...who actually gropes for me in a sleepy request for sustenance and comfort.
I felt the breeze flutter past...and I could almost hear their laughter. The way it should have been. It echoes in the woods...
Where purple and yellow flowers continue to bloom in the depths of October...