The smell of rosemary fills the house. The man who lived here before was a herbalist and our front garden is filled with beautiful smelling flowers and herbs, most of which have survived in spite of us doing nothing at all since we moved in.
For most of the year, our front garden looks messy and bedraggled but something happens in May – some small gardening miracle – and suddenly there are blooms everywhere and so much colour.
Every time we have roast vegetables, Ava and Ezra run out to the front to collect some fresh rosemary and the house, and their fingers, smell of my favourite herb for hours.
Today was unusually sunny and we spent most of it in the garden with friends. It was the best kind of day for right now, gentle and slow with space to breathe. Everything felt good. I lay down before dinner and closed my eyes and breathed, slowly, visualising some birth imagery I’ve always used.
This last week was busy. My friend took photographs of us in one of my favourite spots in York, surrounded by trees.
(She is lovely and amazing and you should check out her work here)
Ava had her first ballet show which was also the longest time she has ever spent apart from us. She loved it and is now planning her future dance career. Ezra peed in a potty for the first time.
And over the weekend, perhaps because Ava’s show was the last big event I had planned before Gatsby gets here, I felt a shift over into a different frame of mind. Suddenly, I felt heavy, slow. My body aches when I walk and I have that familiar feeling of being ready to burst. I want to rest more, and the delightful energy that has been there for so much longer this time has decreased somewhat.
Everything seems to slow down. My balance suddenly becomes harder to maintain, and there’s a kind of relaxed drowsiness that settles. I feel a surge of sentimentality that would normally make me cringe.
Ezra and Ava seem a little different too. Ezra climbs up on my lap for a cuddle and stares at me, looking still like a baby, my baby, and I know that that feeling of needing to hold him, of craving his little body to squish, will soon be shared by another. It’s bittersweet, because I know that change is inevitable, and I know I will mourn this time I have with Ezra now, whilst falling completely in love with another little person.
I can’t describe it exactly, but the closer I get to birth, the more I feel as if I am straddling two worlds, on the brink of a journey inwards. The more I want to stand and breathe in the garden, or do small, simple things that don’t require much attention, just my breath, conscious and mindful.
There are tiny baby clothes drying on the radiator that even my big newborn babies fit into. All the curtains have been washed. The birth pool waits in a box. I swear, my kids look at me with some kind of understanding that none of us can communicate in words. And we wait.