roots / by Christina Rosalie

Yesterday the moon looked like a copper penny in the sky, red and low against the dark mountains, clouds clinging to its craters. Today it rained. All day; the kind of steady rain that makes you think Biblically, the Ark suddenly making sense.

It was the kind of rain that made me loose all resolve to do anything worthwhile. The sky smudged gray, the ground already full to saturation, streambeds overflowing everywhere, the brown water spilling out into fields where last week new hay was cut. It was a day of naps and feeling sorry for myself.

I’ve been noticing how my moods fluctuate lately. One day, I’m feeling like this kid is going to be the best thing ever, and the next, while I’m staring at the contours of the toilet bowl, I’m wondering how overpopulation is possibly a problem. People do this? Multiple times?

When the nausea slips away from the foreground though, lingering only like a dull haze between here and the mountains, I feel content with the way things have turned out. A year ago might have been different, but now, DH and I are closer than we’ve ever been. In the three years since Bean, since moving to the end of this long dirt road, we’ve grown up a great deal. Having Bean felt like a gamble, and even after, there were long dark months of winter where things were uncertain and fragile between us. Maybe it’s just the summer sun that’s made the difference, but I feel like we’ve worked hard to reach this new place of camaraderie and passion. For us, growing up and growing a family have happened like dominoes: the one and then the other a tipping point.

But then there are days where all I know is that winter will be back, and with it the new baby and sleep deprivation. These are the days when every single food tastes offensive, and if DH tousles my hair I get hot flashes and feel annoyed.

The thing is, I’m trying to learn how to ride the waves. It’s something I think I’ve always struggled against. I’ve always been a planner, a long-term-goal-keeper, a girl with a map and an escape route tucked into the back pocket of her paint stained jeans. But lately I’ve started to feel like these things might not serve me any more. Fleeing no longer seems like an option, sensible or not, simply because the desire is no longer there. Is this what becoming rooted to a place means?

I’ve planted roses this year. For the longest time I’ve always thought that planting roses was a signal of something, because roses with their exquisite blooms and sharp thorns are things you can’t take with you. They don’t like to be transplanted, and here, at the front of the house, along the narrow walk by the door they’re thriving: bursts of canary and crimson that make me smile every single time I walk by.

So I’ve planted roses, and maybe I’m starting to put down roots. Together, we’ve worked to mediate the ache and wanderlust; finding find a balance we can both live with of a life that fills us up with adventure while still holding us snug in the palm of this moment here, on this land, where the wild grasses and black-eyed-Susan’s flatten in the wind. It’s taken years to reach this point, longer than the time we’ve spent living here for sure.

When we moved here I was still grieving the death of my father. I felt him everywhere: in the boards and the hammer; in my son’s middle name. Now, time has softened the sharpness of that loss, and home has started to mean something different than what it was growing up among grape-stake fences and dry summer grass on my parent’s land.

So I’m feeling like I’m ready for this. Like we are. Except for the damn nausea and stomach pain that lingers perpetual and invasive. Sometimes that makes me just want to curl up in a ball and cry.