A sliver of light beneath the door.
On a recent writer’s retreat we were asked to write from the poem “Three Times My Life Has Opened” by Jane Hirshfield. The line that struck me was this:
There is a door, it opens, then it is closed. Yet a sliver of light remains.
I was inspired by the beautiful young family in our class, their four-year-old son, Benjamin, reminding me of my son Zachary when he was little. Today is Zac’s 23rd birthday and it feels like the right day to share these words of the fleeting beauty of early motherhood. Even though those days feel long and never-ending, they are but a brief moment in time to be cherished. I know I cherished those days less than I could have, but I never could have loved him more.
The door of motherhood opens slowly in pregnancy, a mother’s body widening, growing with the new life inside her and she stands at the threshold with anticipation.
The door is flung open wide at the birth of her child, as this woman is catapulted into a new world, welcoming this new life. This world she now inhabits, previously unknown, is as foreign as a land undiscovered, requiring her to learn a new language, new customs. Her child is dependent on her love, her touch, her nourishment and knows only what she shows him.
As he grows this new land becomes familiar, yet the landscape changes with each new season. Her baby who once stumbled towards her on chubby legs, now walks purposefully into new experiences. As he grows further, the wonder wears thinner and in its place comes a pride she could never have of imagined when she stood in that open doorway years before. Yet, the door is slowly closing.
The day he leaves her to explore new lands and be the man she has brought up and into the world the door of daily motherhood closes for good, and yet beneath it a sliver of light remains. Her voice, heard through the crevice, murmurs words of wisdom that only he can hear; encouraging him, soothing him, and reminding him that she is near, just beyond the door, loving him and the man he has become.
This post was originally featured on The Wordy One.