Just a bit about me before I begin. I’m a 32 year old mother-to-be attorney living in North Carolina. I’m expecting my first child at the end of March 2012. I’ve been told it’s a boy, but I’ve also heard there can always be surprises in the end. I’m excited about using a midwife and having a natural birth at a maternity center. I’ve been reading up on breast feeding and plan to attend a La Leche League meeting this month. I have a passion for triathlons and writing. I also don’t want to loose my passion for anything after I become a mom. What I mean is, I don’t want to loose myself.
As I continue on this spiritual journey into a new phase of motherhood, I can’t help but remember my childhood and my mother’s stories about her childhood. My family is as crazy as they come. Their stories have always danced in my head, demanding to be told. It’s time the stories were told, if only to give me peace. They are just that, only stories. They are the stories as I remember or imagine. They are no more real than any other story. And everyone has a story to tell. This story begins with a Rose.
There were once three rose bushes that sat beside our backyard deck. I do not recall that they thrived. My mother was constantly pruning them back until eventually they were gone. Ironically, my mother’s name is Rose. To me, and I have nothing against roses, the rose bushes seemed defiant and haggard. I know they can be beautiful in large quantities, but these bushes were not so lucky. Unlike any good flower, they refused to be beautiful until betrayed by their bloom. They rejected beauty with thorns, thick stems and spiked leaves. They sent clear warnings to the world. Do not touch. We prefer to be left alone. They barely moved in the wind and showed no trace of exhaustion in the summer. Winter storms could do nothing to unmotivated their growth in the spring. Even without water, they held their ground. They were, of course, hacked back into submission as soon as they caught some momentum because their wildness was constantly at the ready to take hold and run uncontrolled across the yard.
One spring, when I was still more aware of my surroundings than myself, the rose bushes caught my fascination. Most of the roses sat closed-lipped, patiently waiting for the bloom. I reasoned that I could help them along by forcing them open. I shoved my finger into the center of the bud and worked at prying the petals apart. I’m not sure how many I got through before my mother caught me. I remember her trying to explain that the buds could not be forced open until they was ready to bloom. Even more dejecting, there was no way for us to know when the bloom would take place. I’m sure I watched for awhile, hoping to see the bloom before giving up and finding something else to torment. The lesson stuck with with me to this day. The rose is a motivation, a metaphor for life. Am I still trying to force the bloom? Or am I waiting patiently for the unfoldment?