Thursday, July 17, 2014
In the roar of the maternal
Summer is in full bloom along the lake, where the green grass is an over-baked, brittle yellow and for miles along the shore bodies are bobbing in the water, packed tight into beach spaces and on docks. Where the waters are clogged with boats and music blares offshore until the curtain of daylight pulls back behind buildings and hillsides and mountains.
Instead of soaking in the beauty of the lake with the masses, I am restless. Disturbed. Homesick.
I am conflicted.
One the one hand, for these three prime months, I am welcomed again into the waters that I love, wherein the edges of myself blur, and I cannot tell where I end and the lake begins. The days are long and lingering and our skin soaks in the rays deficient for much of the year.
But it comes at a cost. I sit on the beach with my husband watching the joy of us city folk as we revel in the season, and he feels it, too. We drink from this same cup and it is bittersweet. It is joy and it is loss. For in the height of our human enjoyment, we cannot help but feel the absence of so many that we love.
I rarely see the great blue heron, except a shadow retreating in the sky with long legs trailing. The waters are clearer this time of year and also littered with evidence of human activity. Plastic bags, styrofoam cups, lost sandals, bottles, glass, cigarettes, tobacco wrappers, french fry cartons, rubber remains. In the parking lots, masses gather in and around cars, smoking weed, drinking, barbecuing, blaring music, the sounds and smells hanging heavy in the air.
I look for the heron in their usual spots and they are not there. I ache for them, these shy ones who dwell here year-round, sensitive to intrusion.
I am a mother on tiptoe, peeking in on her sleeping child. I am a mother bear in towering stance, releasing a warning roar.
I want to round people up and send them home. I want quiet hours. I want people to take their shoes off and enter in on hallowed ground when they tread these sacred places. Do you not know, how this home does not belong to you? It belongs to these ones who are flying away as we invade their space.
I hold a finger up to my lips and my heart lurches deep within: Hush, please. Do not disturb my children. My brothers and sisters. My family.
At night, I squint out at the expansive sky, up to the tops of the trees. I look and I wait for their return.
I do not know motherhood, but this.