Red Clover

“The days are long but the years are short.”-Unknown

I sit at a red light on a route I don’t usually take anymore. I look to my left and see in a field, an ocean of red clover, undulating gently in the breeze. And suddenly I am hit with a wave of sadness, so visceral, so sharp, that it takes my breath away. And then the memory of a thousand trips on this road, that leads to my children’s elementary school, flood in. The school is not even there anymore. And for just a moment I feel such a feeling of panicky loss that I would give anything to be back in that time again.

A time where I was the sun and they were my planets. Always underfoot, always dirty, always needing a bandaid, tumbling around me like puppies, vying for my attention. All the minutiae of life with little boys comes back to me in a rush, crazy mornings, eating lunch with them in the cafeteria when they were little enough that when they saw me their faces would light up. Kindergarten graduations and Science fairs and Spring Flings and so many costumes for so many things. Endless creations of construction paper and cotton balls and pipe cleaners, that weren’t endless after all as it turns out. And in the Spring, Awards Day. And I was always late, racing down this road; but I always noticed the beautiful red clover in this field. And the sight of it this day is enough to take me back instantly and make my heart ache with the loss of it all. A door to the past firmly shut.

Red clover, red clover, send my babies back over.

Then the light changes and I drive on, leaving the nostalgia behind me in the intersection, because I must. It’s the way of it. From the very first one, every step they take, is a step away from you. And as a parent, if I do it right, I am supposed to be working myself out of a job.
And I think of the men they are becoming. They are walking away from me now into their lives, one cautiously, one without a backwards glance, and one, it remains to be seen. For them it feels like a light step into the next thing, but to me it feels like tearing. They must increase and I must decrease. It’s the way of it.

But even bittersweet, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. For the refining fire that is being a Mother. They have shown me the limits and limitlessness in myself. They been my greatest teachers. Of all I have been and done I am proudest of them. My face still lights up when I see them.

I am drinking the last of the cup of Motherhood. It is joy, sorrow, fear, longing, hope, pride, and the slightest bit bitter, but in my mouth, it tastes just like love.

4 thoughts on “Red Clover

  1. Jane Darden

    My heart breaks and sings as I read my heart in this blog. I am further down the road and I know how our sons turned out and I am thrilled that I didn’t manage to screw these precious children up, but my heart still grieves as I pass every change. The glory of grandchildren who worship Gran changes to even more amazing teens and college students and a graduate. They still love sweetly, but it’s not the same. I have learned over the years that life changes and you change with it. Then life brings new and exciting experiences that will change again. The great part is that we are never left in our sadness. The new comes to fill the emptiness when we have had a chance to grieve a bit. In my golden years I can see the pattern God has planned and it makes sense. My heart still sings with gratitude.
    Sent from my iPhone

    Liked by 1 person

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