Monday, February 28, 2011

Full Circle

With my neck craned over my shoulder, I back out of the driveway, the sun's rays just clearing the roofline, morning chasing me into the street. Two have already left for school, and at 7:30 I am now third to leave each morning.

I merge into a river of cars streaming east towards downtown, and I sit up taller behind the visor to shade my eyes from the unforgiveness of sunrise. It feels so fast, this new rhythm, the current of career pulling me forward, a pace that reprioritizes a life. I did this so long ago, but it's not like riding a bike. I have forgotten.

Sixteen years ago, life slowed by minus forty hours per week. I slowed down, so baby could grow up. Then another, and a third. At the begininnig, I felt adrift in a stagnant sea of afternoons, but time filled out pregnant round, and days filled up with life, lives.

Baby food, and stroller walks, bike rides and dripping popcicles. There were fevers and bugs in jars, twinkling little stars and tiny holding hands, arms reaching up. Sixteen years of building people, making room in a womb of days for a next generation to live.

It's morphed into text messages and acne. Shakespeare assignments and razors. Flat ironed hair and Facebook friends. Fights for bathroom mirror time and the unfamiliar reaching up, not down, for child hugs.

How grateful I am for that slowing, now that there's a quickening. There's really only been twenty-four hours every day all this time, no matter how one spends forty of them each week. I chose to spend them at home. Now that I'm riding the morning and afternoon tides to and from a career again, I'm even more sure I chose wisely.

If time is sand that slips through an hourglass, it fell as precious gemstones to form the riverbed upon which the current rides. It bouys us and moves us ever forward above an extravagant and valuable foundation.

And from a vantage point of sixteen years invested, I smile from behind the steering wheel at the sunrise, thinking that, today, the earth will circle round to sunset, making another pregnant bump. This one is forty hours a week faster to be sure, but just as full of new life.

Sunrise over Porta Hotel, Antigua, Guatemala
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