Monday, January 19, 2009

Heading into the thick of the month

I originally made the below post here. You can see it and photos of our pond, which we also had to say goodbye to when we left the old place 12 months ago yesterday, on my old blog.

This is where I do my best...
November 16, 2005

Laughing and enjoying being alive.
Talking on the phone (even though many people have asked if I'm running a bath or in the toilet.....).

This is the pond we made last year for Ella, in place of having a grave site in a cemetary as was our choice, and where all our pregnant fish are (ok, so it's only two of them but that counts as ALL of them to someone ttc). For every brick we painstakingly laid (there is a double brick surround under the pavers and rendering), for every paver we laid, every brush stroke of paint.... we thought of her. We knew we couldn't stop because it symbolised all the missed birthdays, Christmases, school concerts, friends over to play. Just all of it. And it was tough, really tough. I had my fifth miscarriage during that time (my first pregnancy since losing her) so there are a lot of blood, sweat and tears - all quite literally - in this monument to her. We started in May 2004 and it was complete when the shade sail went up in September the same year.

God knows how we'll ever leave this place now. It would be pretty hard to leave this behind. It brings us so much joy and has become the centrepiece of the house - we can view it from the kitchen/living area so it's ever-present.

We love it.

Reading it again gave rise to a moment shared with me by one of my dearest and oldest friends, who came to visit and offered me the following deeply enriching (to me, at the time, still childless) observation. I have written this for the book but want to share it here as well, capturing a time when I held on to the hope of meeting more of the family I would create with Steve - one day... maybe - while I would take myself out at night and stare up at the stars as I sat by the pond. I felt so much closer to Ella out there and so far, here at the new place, we haven't created anything anywhere near as magical. Not yet. It'll come, I hope.

When we first started the water pump on the cherub, we had the strong desire to keep the trickle very slow. So that only a very subtle water flow could be heard. By the following spring in 2005, having cleaned the pond and the pump after a stagnant winter, the fountain burst into life and really powered into the water. It was a stark contrast to our initial desire to set the peaceful and gentle pace of the water over the fountain, that we could now bear the more forceful pressure of the sound of water hitting water. It was vibrant, alive, very present and commanding of us to peer into the water, it invited closer inspection, it drew us in far more loudly than in the previous year.
A dear friend made the poignant observation to me that at this stage, Ella too would have been up to more, an inquisitive toddler, full of life and energy, getting into things, commanding attention and generally on the go all the time. I had never looked on it that way before and the instant the words left her lips, I adored the symmetry of the metaphor she was suggesting. It gave our little water monument creation an even greater, lasting depth. The cherub itself I had looked on almost as being Ella herself in the beginning, such was the great peace I gained from sitting alongside it at night, every night, that first summer without her. I would sit in respectful silence, gazing down into the spotlit water and watched the fish cruising around, mesmerised by the glint of the water off the cherub’s face. Dazed some nights by what had happened to me and wondering where the former me had gone. But always, that water trickled, it represented constant life and energy to me and helped me retain focus. It gave me a reason to step outside some days too, when the thought of going anywhere and seeing people really did not seem like much fun.

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