A Mother In A Season Of Wildflowers

I tried to write last week. In an effort to get all my thoughts out of my head, I poured it out and I typed. Then I cried and typed some more, but I didn’t have the courage to press “Publish.”

Every word was dark. I couldn’t find a way to wrap it up neatly with encouragement and inspiration, because there wasn’t any to be found.

I was lost in the wild of mothering. 

It went a little like this:

This morning before my eyes had even opened I knew what kind of a day I would have. My chest had that familiar feeling, as though the weight of yesterday hadn’t dispelled away into the night as it should. It had settled instead. When I willed my eyes to open I looked right down into my baby’s, beaming her happiness up into my haze.

She is four months old today.

I have now nurtured three human beings through each of their first four months on earth. An entire year of my existence – nurturing and sustaining brand new life. This should convince me that I am qualified.

So why, why is it crowding in on me today, this paralysis of my lungs?

I try to think back to when my second child was four months old, and close my eyes a bit tighter to seven years ago, remembering my firstborn. Journeying back that far is like navigating down a long and darkened hallway, shrouded in shadows, but familiar enough that I manage to make it through with only a stub of my toe into a doorframe.  Slowly, the memories spread over me, like fog rolling over in the morning. Four months old…

Four months is just long enough for the exhaustion to have seeped into your bones. It is just long enough for the neglected bathroom floors to have built up enough filth to finally repulse you. Four months is just the right time to try to throw your favorite springy, peach-colored top on, and just enough time for the tears of shame to fill your eyes when you find it still doesn’t fit. Four months is all it takes to fall completely in love with someone, so much so, that the depths of the fall can overtake you.  It is just long enough to have been treading with all your might to keep afloat in whirlpool; just long enough to entertain the idea of sinking.

Four months is exactly the amount of time I require to figure out I’m drowning. 

And today, right on cue, I awoke and couldn’t find the air.

Yes, I remember now; four months is exactly when my postpartum sinks in. Sinks me.

Bleak, right?

And yet, all week I managed to keep going. I awoke and clothed, fed and nursed, moved our things in-and-out from the washer to the dryer, moved my children in-and-out from our home and to the car and to the park and back again. I cooked and bathed and rocked and sang. What other choice did I have?

But all along, I felt lost in the wild. Each night I prayed that I would wake and embrace the newness of the day. Yet nothing feels new when you are wandering; it only feels foreign. 

It wasn’t until we were driving through Central Texas, heading to celebrate Easter with our family, that I began to feel reprieve.

Up and down the highways, the wildflowers are in bloom. Bluebonnets, Indian Paintbrush, and Buttercups blanket the vibrant, green grasses with bursts of purples, pinks and blue. It has always fascinated me, the way that their explosions of color along the interstate can restore even the busiest, most industrial of places to wilderness again. A stretch of pavement infiltrated by billboards and semi trucks, strip malls and gas stations, and millions of people rushing, somehow becomes softer, purer, simply by their presence.

Mesmerized by the patches of blossoms blending into a sea of reverence as we sped by, I realized why wildflowers hold such a dear space in my heart: they are wondrous for blooming in the most complicated of places. Untamed, neglected, yet thriving — steadfast in their refusal to be extinguished by the hurriedness of the world.

They are not beautiful in spite of their wildness; their wildness is what makes them beautiful. 

The bluebonnets bled together even more deeply as the tears filled my weary eyes.

I am wildflower. Persistent in growing in the most complicated of places.

Dear mama who feels lost, you are a wildflower, too.

And in this season of motherhood, this springtime where our worlds are teeming with life, we must not be lost to the wildness of the growth; we are called to rise up and blossom.

And above all, we must believe in the sacred beauty of the wild.

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33 thoughts on “A Mother In A Season Of Wildflowers

  1. So beautiful! I know exactly what you were feeling, and the wildflowers are a perfect metaphor. Thank you for sharing this.

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  2. Wow, this is so raw & wonderful. I think so many of us have been there & this realization is what we all need to come to terms with!! Your writing is beautifully poetic, I hung on every word!! Thanks for sharing! xx

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  3. Even though I’m not a young mother anymore, there remain those “post-partum” kind of days when life becomes very hard to live out. . . and the flowers, or whatever God’s incredible expression of beauty, transfers us into a new place of healing without denying the pain of our journey. Very much appreciate this beautiful sharing, mama.

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    1. Thank you for sharing your reflections. Knowing that we all find ourselves having those days fills me with the fortitude I need to press on. It is true that I am most at peace when I am fully present in God’s creation.

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    1. Oh, I cannot express what this validation means to me! I thought I was the only one who experienced these emotions later in the postpartum journey, and honestly, wondered what could be wrong with me. Thank you for sharing!

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  4. Your words always reach down into the depths of my soul. They are perfectly raw and real and authentic and I love you for sharing your heart and validating the experience of so many other mamas.

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  5. Okay WOW. Seriously. I’m sitting here with tears in my eyes and I can’t decide if it’s because I’ve felt those exact feelings or because how absolutely beautifully you captured it. Your writing is so captivating honest bu so eloquent. You have a gift my friend!

    Simply Shaunacey

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  6. This is absolutely beautiful and you are so inspiring for sharing it. Thank you for your honesty. You’re an amazing mama and I hope you know that

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  7. This is so beautifully written! I’ve been struggling lately with how to interact with my children (mom of 3, including twins) when they and other life events just don’t seem to be going my way. I’ve written about some of the changes I want to make on my blog. It’s so nice to find other honest mothers out there as well! Keep up the wonderful work. xoxo, Kelly http://www.inmyflow.com

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