I'm supposed to meet Lily in an hour and a half and I need to scramble into town and do something first because May is having a birthday tomorrow, my second baby's birthday, coming right up, and that was another lifetime ago, when I had that child.
I was talking to Anna, Hank's friend last week and I said, "All those people who say they feel exactly the same as they did fifty years ago- I don't get it. I don't even REMEMBER the person I was a long time ago." And of course I do vaguely remember but who WAS that? That hippie girl who gave birth after a long, long day of labor and then a night of it too, and finally, as dawn broke, my May was born and we were all so happy, so glad, and there she was. Perfect, in my arms, and the main midwife had had to leave in the night to deliver another child and made it back just in time, her trusty little VW pulling into the yard a few miles from here in Lloyd, as I was already pushing.
There we were, a contingent of women determined to take back the sacrament of birth as our own, girded with a copy of Spiritual Midwifery and a few other births under our belts.
We were crazy, we were brave, we were inspired, we were right.
Anyway, yes, I need to honor that child who was born to me, came so sweetly into this world, barely cried, just arrived and was there, right where she was supposed to be.
I don't have internet on the island so I make do with the iPhone and it's not easy, blogging that way, my fingers fumbling at the tiny keyboard. I did update my Blogger app in hopes that I can once again post pictures with it because pictures are the very best way to share Dog Island with its sunsets, it's pines, its flat bay and whippy Gulf. We shall see. But my online presence will naturally be more quiet while I am there.
And see- there you go- I can't imagine not being able to write here, to be in touch, to read your blogs, and when I had May all those years ago, thirty-five years ago! I am not sure I even knew the word "computer" and if the internet had been invented, I sure hadn't heard about it. I considered myself pretty ooh-bip-potato-chip because we had recently moved from a house with no running water into a trailer with a bathroom and a kitchen sink.
Who was that girl? I was twenty-three years old, already the mother of a just-short-of two-year old.
No. I am not the same but yes, I guess I am. I don't know.
Anyway, I have to run. So much to do before we leave and thirty-five years ago today I was frantically trying to go into labor because my water had already broken and it was so hot and I had a garden with potatoes and peas in it, just as I do now, but now my grandsons help me in the garden, or at least eat the peas and we are taking potatoes I dug last night to the island and when May was born, that very night, I cooked a meal of barbecued chicken and peas and potatoes and it was delicious and my then-husband washed the birth sheets in our washing machine which I was so proud to have, and it was attached to the trailer in a little thrown-up shed and the day I realized I was pregnant with her, I was digging a ditch to lay the pipe from well to washer in that red-clay dirt.
There. That. I was that girl, that ditch-digging, hippie mama girl, and now I am a grandmother and not the same person at all but I still believe in the Holy Sacrament of Birth, the garden, the running water, and I remember my baby being born and the face of the midwife, Ellen, and I named my baby May Ellen and here we are now.
I am so lucky. And always have been.