When I was 17 we would travel the 45 minutes through from Pretoria to Johannesburg several times a week to go and see my mom. At the top of a tall tower of hospital rooms she waited for us. Like Rapunzel, but without the hair. Her room was warm and her walls covered with art from the kids in my youth group. I don’t remember what we would all talk about. I do remember that it felt normal – to wash hands with sanitizer, don masks and surgical slippers over our shoes, before we hugged her.
And on the way out of the parking a lot we’d always pull over at a particular bend in the road and look back at the cylindrical building silhouetted against the night sky – windows all twinkling deceptively happy. It was impossible to know which was hers amidst the many, many, squares of light. Until it started to flash. On and off she would flip her light switch and we’d wave madly from our corner of the road and dance a jig and cry because she was too far away to make out our tears. But we knew she could see our dancing.
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance…. Ecclesiastes 3: 1,4.
I sit in church today and my belly gurgles with hidden hiccoughs and brand new limbs that stretch and wave and can barely fit in the space afforded them anymore. March 21st is the first day of Spring and March 22nd is the day this baby girl is scheduled to bloom open and into our lives.
She is already growing in the dark recesses of my heart. Buried under the winter memories of daughterhood lost I feel her pushing up through hard soil. Cracking open places that I didn’t expect to discover.
And grace are spreading roots out into all the broken places.