G.

After my second daughter was born via caesarian, I lay numb from my shoulders down while the surgeon stitched me up. I was beyond ebullient, full of joy but also a steady kind of peace. She had crossed over into us, into our living, chattering, very full world.

The surgeon and his assistant, working, talked about their long Memorial Day weekend, most of it apparently spent in the garden. Grass grows crazy everywhere in Vermont, except sometimes where you want it most. The sheer normalcy of talking about tomato varieties was enormously reassuring. l felt suspended, finished with a hard pregnancy, not quite yet in the realm of mothering an infant, poised between no longer pregnant and not yet nursing this little one. A rare, unique moment.

Later, looking at photos, I was amazed by the sheer mechanics strapped and needled into me for that surgery. My memories are only of gossamer wellness, rays of rainbow radiance with the very heart this tiny six-pound being. Such incredible, utterly amazing good fortune.

Happy birthday, daughter.

may the tide
that is entering even now
the lip of our understanding
carry you out
beyond the face of fear
may you kiss
the wind then turn from it
certain that it will
love your back    may you
open your eyes to water
water waving forever
and may you in your innocence
sail through this to that

– Lucille Clifton, “Blessing the Boats

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By Brett Ann Stanciu

Brett Ann Stanciu lives with her two daughters in Hardwick, Vermont. Her creative nonfiction book, Unstitched: My Journey to Understand Opioid Addiction and How People and Communities Can Heal, will be published by Steerforth Press in September 2021. Her novel about rural life in Vermont, Hidden View, was published in 2015.

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