Another Saturday. Above the house the blue sky is draped in gauze and to the south white mountains of clouds promise rain come noon. The house could be a church so peaceful it is, so secure and comforting. Nothing moves only the hands on the clocks. I wonder why I have so many clocks. I never considered time to be of such importance. Time can bring change and new days.
Hospitals are full of tears and pain and life stories. I know. I spent most of the week in one of them. Flitting around like a panicked butterfly, batting myself against glass, gagging for light. I saw great sadness that I tend to avoid but who can avoid what time brings. Everything can change in a day, an hour, a minute.
My son fell down a flight of stairs. I got a call. Broken nose. H and I drove to the ER. We were told to wait. My heart was thumping so badly that it felt like it was going to burst out through my chest. The ER was like a war zone. People lay on trolleys, they threw up, they moaned, they argued. So this is what it's like out here, I thought, on a Saturday night when I am down in the vegetable patch dreaming of lettuces or putting the dishes away after a perfect meal.
When I saw my son a strange sound came from my mouth. It could have been No or it could have been a whimper but he did not hear me. He was unconscious. He had tubes in his nose and mouth and blocks around his head to keep him from moving. It was not just a broken nose. Hours go by in ER and you never notice. Time is irrelevant. Machines matter and nurses and doctors. Scans matter and MRI's and constant beeps of monitors. Once in the night, you go outside to get air and the sky is clear as it might be in November. It is cold and steely grey and you find yourself wishing for the past. For the clock to go racing back in time, back to when you held your son in your arms, back to when he was swaddled. Back to the beginning.
I will not ramble. You ramble in ER. Your head becomes a zig-zag of everything. You cannot believe life is like this. Uncertain. You cannot believe how beautiful your sons hands have become. You try to think of the last thing you said to him. You see what a strong forehead he has. How long his body is in the bed. How big his feet. You see youth and dreams before you. A mould of promise.
Days blended into night. Trips back to the house. A quick stolen shower. A feed for the dogs. A drawing and opening of curtains. You see nothing of consequence. People walk on the road, carefree and happy. The land is ripe with the encroaching Summer. Blue blends into green. White daisies dance and bend.
Joy. Hugs. Happiness. Lightness. Skip. Son is alive and his body is unbroken. His mind is intact. His nose has a splint. His eyes are black. His skin is torn. He smiles when I rub his legs. He wants my pancakes and strawberries. He is hungry. I smooth his blond hair and suddenly he is back in my arms, a mere newborn, but just for a moment mind. I take the precious moment, delight in it as if my whole being tingles with new life.