My sister is having a little girl today. Her first.
I sit in the open air, listening to the wind and the waterfall, waiting and resting. My girls are entertained and patient, having comfortably settled in to their Hawaiian vacation with the knowledge that many more days of sunshine and rest stretch before them.
An old Anne Murray song comes over the loudspeaker and I know all the words. It's one of the ones we used to listen to in Mom's old VW squareback on our way to Crater Lake. The four of us packed in to "blueberry", our gloves and hats and cross country skis piled in the way back, me sitting in the front seat belting out the words with Mom.
I think of the story Mom told me a few months ago when I was considering giving in to depression once more. She left the three of us kids at home with a babysitter and drove to the overlook point of the lake. She sat there in the driver's seat, crying and looking out and trying to decide whether or not to push on the gas and disappear over the edge. I wonder how she did it. How did she go from that to putting the cassette of Anne Murray in the tape deck, packing lunch and driving us all up to the snow, singing and laughing? How did she go from that to patiently teaching us to ski, spending the day with us, cold, wet, and tired?
I think about my 30s, marked with episodes of depression like black shoe scuffs along my kitchen's hardwood floor. I turn slightly to look at my strong, centered, lovely daughters and I wonder whether they will find pockets of black. Moments of overwhelming despair. Will these times come for them in their 30s, too?
Altogether without fear, I first think that I hope they don't. I hope they never know what that feels like and can't possibly begin to comprehend the stark aloneness of those emotions. But then, looking out into the blue sky, watching cotton-candy clouds push past as the breeze rustles through the palms, I change my mind.
I look at my strong, centered, lovely daughters and realize how full my life is. How the fear and sadness has pushed at the interior boundaries of my soul to make room for these peaceful, glorious moments. How the rounded sides allow for more. Of everything.
And while I don't wish for harm or pain to come to my girls, I know their lives can't be full enough or real enough without it. And so instead, I hope that they have each other. And me. And that we can see each other through the pain until that moment when we see each other again in a pure, full moment of love.