After I had Desmond, a friend, an artist, told me that her artist friends with children have all said it takes six months to get back into a working groove. It has taken me much longer. And that’s okay. Desmond is just shy of two. It took me nine months to begin to feel of this world again, and I am just now beginning to feel centered again and beyond capable of living and managing and feeling and nourishing every aspect of my life, spiritual, professional, family and home, and personal.
For the first nine months, I was adrift, floating on a lovely pink motherhood, pure-and-raw love, connected-to-my-child Cloud. What a terrific space to occupy. It is a place all it’s own, a realm you never know exists until you have the fortune to occupy that space. It’s a discovery like the secret garden.
I heard a friend say recently that she was surprised that another friend who is a new mom is posting so many pictures of her child to Facebook. She said she didn’t think the friend would be, “that kind of mom.” It’s the thing people say all the time. I’ve made identical statements in the past, and I remembered my statements when I saw myself become "that kind of mom," but I was compelled. I couldn't stop myself, nor could I make reasonable sense of my compulsion.
Hearing the "that kind of mom" statement recently, I paused and thought about it for the first time in a long time. That posting pictures frame of mind, it’s a wonderful state to be in, it is a place of declaration: “I’m in love and I don’t care who knows it. I’m mucking about in the thickest, most raw love, and I can’t see or feel anything beyond that love.” It's a beautiful place.
I know now, when I hear people say, “It took me six months to get back to myself after having my baby,” or nine months, or a year, that what they’re getting back to is occupying the day-to-day world again. Their other senses are returning, sight, smell, sound, touch, taste; it makes me wonder if love is the sixth and mysterious sense.
When the love cloud releases you, the day-to-day senses return, and you transition. You are not “of” the cloud any longer; the cloud is of you. It moves inside of you like God or spirit or soul, while you once again occupy the ordinary. You get to remember that space you occupied, wrap the memory like a present, and tuck it inside of your heart, where it helps pump your blood.
So, I made that transition at about nine months. The transition itself is magical, much like waking from a dream and realizing you were just having the dream. You move back into the every day and begin to integrate yourself and your love cloud with all of the other parts of your existence, and it is the first time you recognize that you were away floating on that love cloud.
This is what my love cloud looks like, now that it’s inside of my heart: It is wrapped in a package as weightless as a balloon, as smooth as an egg shell. The package is magenta, tangerine, strawberry red, and every shade in between these. It is secured with ribbons: peacock golds and blues and greens, emerald, turquoise, ocean, midnight, copper, bronze, sapphire. The ribbons fall around the package like long, loose hairs of a girl-child. This package that is the infinite colors of all of love and all of love’s intensity and the shape-shifting pale pink cloud that lives inside of it, this is the most precious and protected part of you.
Before it was in your heart, there was an empty shelf, awaiting its arrival. You never knew. When it’s there, where it should be, working as it should work, you work again. You write again. You exercise again. You cook again. You clean again. You socialize. You read. You think. Your intellect expands. Your spirit expands. Your capability expands. You find your way back to the day-to-day. Then you are there, with much greater ease than you have ever had before. And you know you are blessed. You can see what your future looks like; it shows itself to you, lives in a clear, glass ornament and hangs in front of your view like a third eye. You know that you are making your way toward that life; but the miracle is that you are enjoying every present moment as you never before knew how to do.