Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Natural instincts

I've been spending a lot of time in the garden lately, partly as therapy, partly in effort to tame my beds that have become horribly overgrown after being neglected last summer. As I was deadheading my peonies -- the staple of the garden, if it weren't for them, it would all be a real mess! -- I noticed a number of buds in various stages of bloom that never fully flowered. Some of them were tight, hard balls that had barely developed at all and others were almost completely formed and on the brink of blooming but for some reason stopped just short of opening. Looking at them made me think of a correlation between these buds and various stages of pregnancy loss. The small, barely visible buds being early miscarriages; pregnancies that nature decided would never have a chance at ripening. The more fully formed buds were then later losses, stillbirths. Babies that almost made it all the way to birth, but were thwarted at the last moment by some unknown force. In the case of the peonies, it may have been that they were angled such that they lacked that last bit of sunlight that would have brought them into bloom, or that their stem was imperceptibly damaged so that they couldn't get enough water. Or maybe it was nothing specific, maybe there was no reason at all why they stayed partially enclosed in their green sockets while adjacent buds burst forth with healthy, fragrant blooms.

It was somewhat comforting to think about how indiscriminate Nature was -- taking these flowers just as it had taken my daughter. I had so often blamed myself for my daughter's death, either concretely by damaging her health in some way or more obliquely by not being worthy of bringing her alive into the world. This guilt plagued me at a very conscious level in the weeks and months following the loss, and has slowly subsumed into a vague malevolent cloud that surrounds every thought I have about my daughter and her death. So seeing these stunted buds has helped me to start to let go of these negative and damaging feelings. I am slowly cultivating some hope that I will have a healthy baby someday, that I am not doomed and that it wasn't my fault that my daughter didn't survive. I know it will take some time to dispel these thoughts that have plagued me for over a year now, but it feels good to finally see a glimmer of hope.
:: posted by Ann Howell, 7:40 PM


Wow. Just wow.
My irises did the same thing, some bloomed outright while others died mid-bloom. I blamed it on one oddly hot weekend. But maybe there was some other reason.
God, the blaming, will it ever go away? It kind of slithers away, slowly. Reappearing in certain moments of weakness and then slithering away again.
I'm glad you're seeing hope on the horizon.
Blogger zarqa, at 7/06/2005 7:07 PM  
Ann, that was beautiful. As mad as I get at the universe for not honoring my plans, I do see how mother nature decides what gets to bloom, and when.
Blogger Julie, at 7/12/2005 10:46 AM  

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