January 13, 2014


Many women come here to the Juniper Tree, from all over Asia, to have their babies.  I did.  We're like blue whales, migrating to warmer waters to have our young.  One such woman is named Randy.  For days we greeted her - and her lovely large belly - at the breakfast table, sorry to see her there, because it meant that she was not at the hospital.  The due date came and went, days ago, and still Randy was there, every morning, with her redheaded husband and her toddler son. 

"Praying and waiting," she'd say with a smile. 

We've all been there, haven't we?  Or we will be, at some point.  There are times when important things are right around the corner, and we can't help but assume a posture of waiting.  Waiting on a baby to be born, or a coming wedding, or even death - when a fatal illness has become too painful anymore to bear.  My sister-in-law is in another category of waiting altogether; a member of that heroic few who live the rest of their lives waiting to hold their child again.

But too often we wait for lesser things.  We wait for the water to boil, for the popcorn to pop, for that important email to come through.  We wait for the snow to fall, for the snow to melt, for our shoes to dry, for the sun to set, for the baby to cry himself to sleep.  We wait for our show to come on, for our phone to ring, for our bad haircut to grow out. 

We wait lots of our lives away, I think.

Today Randy went into the labor.  She wasn't at the breakfast table.  Her redheaded husband was there, his hair all mussed up and his eyes dancing.  He was scooping cornflakes into a bowl for his laboring wife.  It was an exciting morning for everybody.

And then, as the morning dragged on for them, Randy's labor tapered off and eventually stopped altogether. She could be seen walking about the grounds, willing the labor to return.  Her husband fidgeted with his phone, absently watching the toddler son, looking nervous.  At one point, I passed the anxious pair and their son, and I said, "Your last day as a family of three, huh?"

The husband looked at me, as if that fact had not occurred to him before.  I walked on past them, but I couldn't help but wonder if maybe the little family of three would take a sec and enjoy life as they know it, before it changes forever. 

After all, the sweetest moment is the one we're in, isn't that what they say?  I tend to agree.