It’s not unusual for me to sign onto Facebook in the morning, but it’s usually to check and clear away notifications, and maybe check what the free ice cream name of the day is at one of our favorite local scoop places. If it’s ever anything personal, I generally only see the top one or two friends’ posts. My friend Amy had a status about stopping everything to see the sunrise. So I grabbed my early morning Scarlet and we saw the red ball rising through the trees. And it was definitely a stop everything type of sunrise. Then we watched it, while we waited for the day to begin, and spin, like a whirling ball of hopeful fire. Everything different, and what we make of it.
I started my own work, which was overwhelming at best, but largely interrupted by kids, which was totally ok and expected. Cassidy was here too but that didn’t necessarily stop the insanity. The construction workers beat out a steady rhythm with the rising sun, and their beautiful rising Russian instrumental music made its way across the sky and into the Google classrooms. Chaos, and hope. Chaos, and rhythm. Sunrise, and sunset. I signed into one of my side job Skype chats and told my co-workers it was the first day of school. My friend Charlotte said, “Sunrise and sunset.” I began to notice a theme, and built it into my brain and my writing and my heartbeat.
Sometimes I try to sleep against kicking babies and kicking legs and rising moons and heartburn. I try to sleep against back to school and medical phobias; these upcoming virtual classrooms and very in-person hospital visits. What I soon have to do and if I have it in me. Both concepts make me feel like I’m dying, again, but also becoming a new me. Sunrise, and sunset. You always have to die a little, to become more alive – to shed the uncertainty and phobias and expectations – and roll into a new sunrise. That’s what steadies me on kicking, restless nights. I can put my back against the warmth of Cassidy’s back, or put my stomach against his back – so he feels the steady kicks and rolls while we both face the rising light. Together, and not virtually.
The sun rose on a day of uncertainty and even phobias, but so, so much love. So much noise and dog antics and technical hijinks and trying to get two kids signed into their new “classrooms” after a healthy breakfast, of course. And Des doesn’t even know this – but his morning smoothie had avocado and kale in it. I had work to do, so much work, while the sun rose above my head and made its way through the tall trees and onto all of the warmed patches of hardwood that the dogs like to lie in. As the sun made its away across the house, and the world, I made my way to an ultrasound. My first ultrasound after 20 weeks pregnant. He no longer looked like a blob.
And the moon has to take its night shift, early at times, so the sun set on a day of uncertainty, and even phobias, but so, so much love. The love I put into their breakfasts. The lighthearted moments when we could set up Lucy at Des’ computer and pretend she’s typing – thus distracting 20 or so third graders. When Des dismissed us from his room and Cassidy fake cried and I pointed to my stomach and said, “It’s ok. We have another one.” So many sunrises, and sunsets, for this little one. My little 2020 ball of sun and life and fire – kicking and rolling and listening as the pandemic moves, and with it hope and light. They rise and set; rise and set.
Wishing stars are balls of light, moving across the sky – sizzling and setting up a display – to keep us warmed, and lit, and believing, for decades and lightyears to come. Sunrise, and sunset.