(Photo: hand sewn patch on a family quilt)
(Previously published on Oct. 22, 2015)
A year ago, on my birthday, I stood in the post office, waiting in line.
I had just turned 40. A few months earlier I’d ended a long term partnership to move cross country and start over.
In front of me a middle aged mother stood in flip flops, holding a toddler in her arms. As often happens when I go places, the young one stared at me. A lot.
She had beautiful cocoa skin, intense eyes and cornrow hair tied in bright plastic barrettes shaped like puppies.
I winked, and smiled, and did a tentative wave. She just stared, for a long time, and I could feel the assessing.
I felt my heart and womb stir. I had wanted children all throughout my 30’s. I’d made choices I thought would bring that reality closer, and make it possible. Yet the Dad didn’t show up, and I couldn’t find him. By midlife, I’d reached a conclusion more out of defeat and consolation than wisdom: I had chosen to believe that being a mother may not be the best use of me. It was the best I could do to rally my internal forces forward.
Yet still there was heart sadness, biological longing, and a feeling of confusion that it was supposed to happen, but something didn’t connect when it should have, and it threw off the timing. Of everything.
Eventually it was my turn to walk up to the counter. I greeted the postal lady and said ‘Wasn’t that a beautiful baby?’
The woman rifled through my packages ‘Mmmhmmm’.
She looked up and saw clear into the back of my soul before continuing.
She must have recognized something in my voice. She asked, “Where’s yours?” while staring at her computer screen, entering the zipcode for Kansas.
I paused. I didn’t have one. I’d chosen not to have kids because I didn’t yet meet the dad, and I didn’t feel right about being a single mom by choice.
I couldn’t stop the choke and waver in my voice as I explained.
“What about adoption? There’s lots of God’s babies that need lovin’. That’s what I did, he’s right here.” She tapped a hung photo of her baby with her pencil tip. He was in his toy room, smiling.
I couldn’t respond. I have always known that adoption was not right for me either.
Ugh. What a corner I had painted myself into.
On seeing this, she sat back in her chair, closed her eyes, and paused.
And then began what I can only describe as a good old fashioned Southern revival prophesizing. In front of God, myself, and all the other customers waiting in line, she spontaneously called out a blessing about the person made to be with me …mmmhmmm….who at that very moment was being made ready! He’s there! He’s just not ready! I had to be patient. He was being prepared. I must not give up. I must be patient!!
(This is my life.)
I rocked back on my heels, hit by the roll of spirit as it came through her and blew through me. Tears rolled down my cheeks.
She took a deep breath, opened her eyes, leaned forward in her chair, smiling, and told me the total I owed.
I slid the money over, along with a meek thank you. It was all I could manage. I was wide eyed, elated, sad, and opened at the same time. I took my change and walked out feeling glorified! and in the haze of a miracle.
As my key went in the car ignition, my rational brain caught up to where my right brain had already gone.
I realized then, holy cow, for my birthday, the Spirit world had reached through the veil and given me a ‘Hello!!’
It delivered a message from the other side of the matrix: He’s there. Not ready. He exists. You must not give up.
Well OK then.
I won’t give up.
A year later I am happy, well, and creating a life of healing/artistic service and family closeness…
That guy? He still isn’t ready, as far as I can tell. But, I’m putting in the footwork, I’m getting out there and doing my relationship growing homework.
Along the way I find myself in dating paradox:
– having to let go and give space in order to be able to show up and be close
– having to guard my heart in order to keep loving and caring
– having to hold back in order to be able to give freely.
I may never understand the full dance between a man and a woman.
But a paradox . . . and a prophecy . . . that’s the smoking gun of Spirit having fired clear through your life to grow you.
Patiently waiting, postal lady. Patiently waiting.
May all who hope for paired love, know the beauty of how to hold it.