10.01.2010

Thoughts On Moscow: The Blessing Of A Late Bloomer at 36 Weeks



I wanted to write something about Moscow, Idaho. About what it was like to live in Moscow, and what it was like to leave Moscow, and about the four years in Moscow that have changed me so much, and about how I hardly recognize myself after Moscow, but about how it is in only the very best possible ways, and about how much stronger and better I am because of Moscow.

But instead, I am am going to tell you about my peonies.

I always felt a dear kinship to the peonies living along my fence in Moscow. Those peonies, bless their hearts, never could seem to blossom on time.

I suppose it isn't true that I was a late bloomer, because the fact is, I wasn't. I was a near-early-to-normal bloomer, having grown hips where hips belonged by the time hips were expected, but I can't shake the notion that somehow a late bloomer I am nonetheless.

Just like, for instance, my peonies.

Three summers ago I accompanied my husband to every nursery in the great panhandle of Northern Idaho. His mission was to landscape the vast and barren stretch of earth extending southward from our fence to the curb, and mine was to purchase the perfect flowering shrub. A shrub that would turn me into a true woman. A shrub that I could put into the ground and nurture, thus establishing my own flowering roots in the soft earth of Idaho. That summer I discovered a deep love for blue hydrangeas, purple blooms of lilac, and also that summer was when I learned that the peony, my very favorite flower, is actually something which comes from a bush. My eyes were opened! Peonies for all!

Under the sun-drenched sky I lovingly pored over peony bushes, contemplating colors, bloom sizes, every possible possibility, before finally selecting my peonies. Three in pale pink, and one in deep fuchsia. I planted them in soft, rich dirt under a gentle June sun. Those peonies held deep promise for me and I was beside myself with peony dreams.

And then, nothing happened. My peonies went into the ground and stared into the sun and drank up all the water I lovingly gave them and just sat there. Oh, their stems grew tall and their leaves grew bushy, but those buds remained small and shut tight, unwilling to open or blossom or do anything spectacular. And I was so puzzled. Down the street, lazy bushes of peonies would heavily droop to the sidewalk, burdened with their blossoms, sagging with the weight of their easy fabulousness. I just couldn't understand it.

And then I realized that my peonies were taking after me.

Those four years I lived in Idaho I was struggling with my own blossoming. I was struggling to find meaning in my faith, struggling to find balance between work and my dreams, and even more profoundly, I was struggling to fulfill the very basic purpose of my creation.

I was that slow little peony bush, watching the other peonies bend and open and bloom, unable to unlock the secret for myself, frustrated and confused and incredibly sad.

But this is what I will remember about my Moscow: Each and every August, months after the other peonies in town had blossomed and faded and died, my own little peonies would finally burst open.

Three in pale pink, one in deep fuchsia.

And every August I would rediscover a hope caught up inside of my chest. Hope for my own eventual August.


So, happy August to me.

20 comments :

  1. This is a beautifully written post, Natalie. You have a way of putting your thoughts PERFECTLY into the most melodic words.

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  2. Beautiful, Nat. I feel like your words speak to me and my struggle to conceive. Well said!

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  3. love it. what a pretty and perfect analogy :)

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  4. I do believe you might be nesting - through words. Your recent blog posts have been so incredibly touching and heartfelt. Truly wonderful.

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  5. 36 weeks already??? geezo time flies. I bet you're lookin' swell, gurl!

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  6. So, I found you via Spuds (I'd link, but come on, you know who Spuds is) and I am oh so glad I did! You are hilarious and I love your writing. This post was especially touching. P.S. Happy Birthday!

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  7. beautiful post. you have a way with words...

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  8. A lovely post.

    A gift is pure when it is given from the heart to the right person at the right time and at the right place, and when we expect nothing in return. (Bhagavad Gita)

    Enjoy your gifts - be they babies or blooms.

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  9. Beautiful post Nat. Enjoy your August.

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  10. Very beautiful post. Happy birthday tomorrow!

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  11. Lovely! And happy birthday! And also, if you email me your address, I have a present for you, because I messed up my giveaway... I'll tell you the story later. LOL boberrie76@gmail.com : )

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  12. Such a pretty post! And yes, there is also a great debate at our house. I call them peeeonies but Hub insists on pe-OH-nies. Odd.

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  13. LOVE that you chose "August" for Huck's middle name! 1 Samuel 1:27 "For this child I prayed, and the LORD has granted me my petition that I made to him"

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  14. thanks to being sick, I've been confined to my couch all weekend, and I came across your blog. I can't stop reading it! I love, love, love it. Congratulations on your little one. Birthing a soul is such a wonder, and it's truly the most rewarding thing I've ever experienced.

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  15. Oh my... I'm in a little shock after reading this post. Let me introduce myself... I'm Meg, I just found your blog today from that article written about awesome mormon bloggers. I hadn't seen your blog before so I've been reading while sitting here watching a movie with my 3 year old. Congratulations on your darling boy! Boys are so fun, I'm quite partial to mine. The reason this post shocked me a little is because I've been waiting for my August to come as well. August... so interesting. My August inspiration is a little different. There have been two different times that I have been pregnant, and lost the baby. Both times I was due in September and my sister in law happened to also be pregnant and due in August. I lost one baby at 12 weeks, and spent the rest of the spring/summer, watching my sister in law relish in her growing baby, and having a healthy baby in August. I lost the other baby at 21 weeks, and it was the worst thing I have experienced. Again, I sat back and watched my sister in law bring a beautiful boy into the world... in August. I have found myself on many occasions wondering when I'm going to have an "August"? When will my August come. I'm so glad that my sister in law had great pregnancies and healthy babies, but... will my August come someday too. Thankfully, between the two I was blessed to have a beautiful OCTOBER baby (that month seemed to work out better for me) who is my world.

    Sorry for the novel, but it was too interesting to me not to share. Thank you for giving me great hope tonight, that someday my August will come as well.

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  16. That was just so beautiful. I have tears in my eyes! and that's impressive because I've been having mad dry eyes.

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  17. This post brought me to tears. I too am struggling in my blossoming and watching others around me blossom while I feel like I am stuck in a rut. Thank you for your inspirational words.

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  18. I'm so glad you linked back to this in today's post! This is beautifully written, and oh so sweet.

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