abide



She stirs and summersaults and hiccups. Or he, we are not yet sure which. My doctor tells me she can hear. I wonder which sounds she catches. Which words. Does she hear me tell Thom to bring the salt from the kitchen? Does she hear us talk over dinner? Soup. Proud. Cold. Blanket. Hope. Windows. Name. Amen. Does she store these words? Or do they just catch on the edge or her forming brain and dissolve?

Does she already know the rhythm of my walking, how I step with my head first, like I’m about to do a face plant on the sidewalk? I remember in high school discovering that some people lead with their hips and my friends who dance lead with their breast bones. I lead with my head, like one edge of a parallelogram. Does she know this already? Does she feel us pushing ourselves into the world, headfirst, as if we want to touch everything with our mouths and brains? Did she feel it, yesterday, when we got caught on our walk in the rain?

I baked bread in our dutch oven the other day. The cast iron is from Thom’s grandparents. The bread was easy with only three ingredients. It didn’t require kneading, just patience. That night, as we ate it with spicy soup and melting butter, I told Thom that what was therapeutic about baking it was my passive participation in its coming to being. I did nothing, for much more time and in some ways much more consciously, than I did anything at all. There are few tasks: mixing the water flour yeast and salt, preheating the oven, turning the dough ball into the cast iron. These things took minutes and I didn’t think much of them. But the waiting captivated me. It took my steadfast concentration. I felt ernest and hope-filled. There was waiting and watching and even listening. When the bread comes hot from the oven, it sings. It cracks as it cools, telling you to wait to cut it. If you cut it before it stops singing, the bread turns gummy and dense. You have to listen carefully.

Patience. Disciplined rest. Biding time. “To Abide: to remain, to continue, to stay.” This is the time of negative space. When the bread comes from the oven and your house fills with smell, there is positive space.

In three months and a few days we will know her name. Or his name. We will know her touch, her sounds, her eyes. There will be the positive space. There will be something I can say something about. There will be something to do. For now, there is nothing to do. We are just to wait. And try our best to wrap our minds around that which we cannot understand, that which is coming, that which we cannot know. The task is to hope. The skill required is patience.

Now we sit with what we cannot know, feeling her kick and listening carefully.

43 comments:

  1. this is beautiful. everything.




    rachael

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  2. what a stunning post, you write so beautifully

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  3. Nikaela! I am speechless over here. Thank you for this, you beauty.

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  4. baby will treasure these wonderings, this patience one day.

    thank you for all the loveliness, always.

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  5. you are truly a stunningly talented poet, my friend.

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  6. I walk with my head first, but try to let it be my feet in stead. Just to feel more grounded. It helps.

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  7. Oh I love this so, Nik!!!! I just showed my dad this picture of your belly. It is so much bigger now I can't belive it! I am glad you will be a mother before I will, so you can tell me more about it all whenever I am the one waiting. Love you.

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  8. What a beautiful way to describe it, I could imagine what it feels like so well. You look so pretty with that babe growing inside you.

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  9. You have this incredible ability to express with words a feeling, an emotion, a time.

    I walk and lead with my head out, too. My family has always kid that I look like a duck because of it. Though I like the way you describe it much better!

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  10. this is so beautiful. i find myself asking the same questions. my baby girl is due january and she was bouncing around in my belly while i read this post : )

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  11. You are such a beautiful writer and photographer. You capture something so unique...your voice is singular. It's refreshing and magical. :)

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  12. What blew out minds while we were waiting was to say "this time next year we will have a 9 month old". To go from nothing to knowing so much, so many memories, experiences, pain, joy and love in one short year is ridiculous. And amazing.

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  13. Incredible Nik. You, your words, and your baby. XO

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  14. So sweet. Your words, your baby, everything.

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  15. everything about this makes me smile - the words, the photo, the waiting game.

    a few months i visited a friend who is a doctor and was just about to have a baby. she told me that even in the womb babies sleep and that babies dream. dream! i asked. i could hardly imagine what a baby would dream about, but now i like to imagine.

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    1. :) I didn't know or imagine this! that is the best to think of.

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    2. I've heard in Tibetan parenting that babies start to dream around the gestational age of 6,7,8 months. The mother can 'see' these dreams when she sleeps. This happened to me with my first born. I started having 'unusual' dreams of places I had never ever seen before. It was magical. Congratulations on your beloved baby. Katie x

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  16. It's beautiful, the way you describe it, it gives peace in our souls.

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  17. you write so beautifully - reading this gave me goosebumps and a wide smile

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  18. Very lovingly written...you have a gift my dear!

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  19. what a blessing. enjoy each day as she grows ever so preciously with you two.

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  20. shiz, mang... you just killed me dead with your writing.

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  21. Thanks for sharing your gifts with words. You write what so many of us feel but don't know how to express.

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  22. really, really beautiful. thank you for sharing this.
    pauline

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  23. Wonderfully written! Thank you for sharing!

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  24. I love love love this picture !

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  25. Wow. I absolutely love the way you write, it's so beautiful! Congratulations on your baby, Nik! :)

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  26. So eloquently written. As a new mum I completely resonate with the miracle involved in waiting and carrying a gift which we play little active role in consciously growing. I felt like a sacred vessel. I felt honoured to be chosen to hold the gift within me. I feel honoured to hold him now in my arms.

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  27. this is so wonderful. i discover myself asking the same concerns. my daughter is due jan and she was jumping around in my tummy while i study this publish : )runescape gold
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