Friday, February 25, 2011

Bottle of Rain

My husband is an absent-minded professor whose mind is often more engaged in Joseph Smith’s world of the 1830s and 40s than ours. His body comes home from work, but as he sits quietly at the dinner table, oblivious to the kids’ banter, I can see he’s not truly with us.

This focus is what makes him great at work and one of the things I’ve loved about him from the beginning. “Mark,” I’ll call softly. His eyes take a moment to focus; he’s coming back from a far distance.

“Welcome,” I say.

These days, the tables are turned. Each day I retreat a little further into the universe expanding within me. I think this is as big as my belly has ever been. Betsy is growing bigger and stronger while I become slower and weaker. More and more, I take second place in my own body. Now it’s me who sits quietly at the dinner table. I’m listening to an orchestra of seismic shifts; Betsy spins back-to-front, another contraction washes over me.

Now it’s Mark tethering me to this world.

Last night he walked in the door with eyes sparkling. He walked straight to me and put his hands around my waist (I use that term advisedly). “Are you ready?” he asked. “Are you excited?” This time, Joseph Smith was not on his mind at all. He ran to karate, read bedtime stories, and cleaned the kitchen. I took a bath and sat on the couch.

Later he--the man who drove to early-morning seminary while I slept--made a late-night grocery run for milk, bread, fruit, and yes, chocolate. I sat quietly at the kitchen table from the time he left until he returned. I sat while he put the groceries away and placed the chocolate in front of me. He turned on this song:

Who else is gonna bring you a broken arrow?
Who else is gonna bring you a bottle of rain? 

Do you feel what I feel
Can we make it so that's part of the deal
I gotta hold you in these arms of steel
Lay your heart on the line this time 

I want to come when you call
I'll get to you if I have to crawl
They can't hold me with these iron walls
We got mountains to climb, to climb 

Robbie Robertson, “Broken Arrow,” listen here


  1. i love that description "retreat a little further into the universe expanding within me".

    patience is a virtue. is that why it's so hard?

  2. Beautiful. I hope your plan for the evening pans out.

  3. Stay with us Angela! We want you and Betsy both!