So, yesterday I sat with the Ocean. We did some talking. It had been a while. I had taken Monday & Tuesday off from work because Husband was out of town and the girls were out of school because of an extended president's day holiday. I pretended I was a stay-at-home mom. I took Wednesday off too, just for me, and I pretended I was a stay-at-home writer mom. It broke my heart a little, the tease of this life. I tried to find renewal in the time alone, but I was reminded of what else can go on outside of an office. So, I visited the Ocean. And we talked. I rolled up my jeans and took off my shoes and I let Her pet my feet.
I said, "Remember when you helped me through labor?"
She said, "Yeah."
"With Maya especially," I laughed.
When I was about to give birth to Maya, I had realized between early contractions that no one is really prepared for labor. Wild-eyed and on the verge of hysteria, I knew I needed to make peace with the pain or something drastic might happen. I had been advised to visualize a rose opening up as I contracted. I pictured a rose blooming, and then I nearly kicked over an IV. What the fuck can I do with a rose? A rose was not helping me make nicey-nice with the goddamn pain. Quickly and kindly my mind offered me the tide of the ocean instead. As a contraction came on, I imagined the tide rolling in and in, and then fading back. At its worst, I didn't think the tide would stop rolling. I held my breath, but I did know it would pass. It would roll out again. When I had the rhythm of this down, I knew I could endure it all. I didn't look toward the reward of my baby. That would've only caused me the panic of wishing it was over immediately. Instead I rolled with the pain. It would pass. I could take it as long as I flowed with it.
The Ocean said, "You need to visit more."
I spotted a pack of baby sand pipers chasing the water in unison, as if on wheels. I said, "I know."
She said, "I have some advice."
I stopped walking and sat on a sand hill. I was all ears.
She said, "Remember when I helped you with labor?"
It rolls in. It rolls out. It's consistent, the rolling. She told me some personal stuff that was hard to hear, but basically she said the flowing is always the hard part. She said knowing when to break from flowing is harder still.