advent week 4: peace

winter wildflowers

“Peace, peace,” they say,
when there is no peace.
—Jeremiah 6:14

Every evening, I lie in the tub and swirl Epsom salts through the water.

If I do not do this ritual, at 1 or 2 or 3 in the morning, my belly will seize up and wake me, getting progressively harder and then finally releasing, repeating over and over for hours. I will grow agitated and unable to fall back asleep.

So every evening, I lie in the tub and swirl Epsom salts through the water. My belly is a mountain above the water, a mountain that rolls and swells as if tectonic plates are shifting beneath it. The ground surges and shudders. No parts are distinct. It’s all a heaving, trembling mass.

Amiina plays and I close my eyes. I imagine our baby in her watery home while I lie in mine. She is nameless, faceless to me yet, as I am to her. She doesn’t know me as her mother; I’m just her environment.

I pray that she will love me, not as her home but as her home. I pray that she will not break my heart as daughters are wont to do to their mothers. And I pray that when she does, I will be as tender and gracious to her as my mother has been to me. I pray that in the midst of these restless days, this girl and I will come to terms with each other and ready ourselves to meet. May we grow into love.

[During Advent this year, my friend Matt and I posted weekly on the season’s common themes: hope, love, joy, and peace. You can read Matt’s final post at Pillar of Cloud.]

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