“Norwegian wood“, said the man with a grizzled beard and thick eye-glasses as he ran his hand across the polished surface of the dining table lovingly. “It’s a bit worn and some of the woodwork seems to have lost its original luster, but it’s been in my family for ages. I hate to part with it…but such are the times. Between you and me young lady, I’ve always felt there was a bit of magic in this wood…”
She didn’t really believe in things magical and mystical but she was drawn to the sincerity in the mans voice and without really thinking about it, it found its way into her home.
That was over five decades ago. Over time, that table had grown into a favourite destination in her home. It was where family and friends sat down to enjoy hearty meals together. It was where silent tears had fallen and hours had been spent laughing. It was where counsel was given, comfort received and prayers whispered.
Perhaps that old man had been right. Perhaps the table was magic. For it was around that table that she had been made privy to the secret of a happy life – Eat, Pray, Love.
-Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
-Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.
She looked into the room where a woman was lying on the bed she’d shared with her husband for decades. He was next to her, holding her hand and stroking her now cold cheek. Her children and grandchildren were gathered round at the foot of the bed, seeking comfort and solace in each other. Her best friend, as grey and wrinkled as she’d become, was there; strong; helping hold everyone together. The lady wore a smile.
The one at the door turned to the cloaked figure carrying a scythe next to her and whispered, “Thank you. I am ready now.”
Apparently golden-yellow sunshine has given way to pale moon beams and then returned to reclaim its territory over and over for more than a month now. When I was told, I blinked in disbelief. I moved out of my room and looked at all the calendars in the house suspiciously, to see if I could spot any sign of mischief, but all of them; from the one that hangs in my parents room to the one on my phone; show me that today is the 8th of May! It seems then that what I have been told is true – I have been entrusted with the care of the most precious parcel for five weeks already! I can scarcely believe that she has been here so long. True she was scheduled to arrive in April; but she made her grand entrance a lot earlier than she was supposed to. A friend of mine joked and said, “She definitely knows her mother is a CA…why else would she arrive on the first day of the new financial year!?!”
When I called my doctor to discuss what I thought was a silly problem and she told me that the baby had to come the next morning – days before she was due – I did what any reasonable person would have done in my shoes…I panicked. Would the baby have grown enough to be able to survive outside its cocoon? Why so much before the due date? Was I becoming an inhospitable host? Why wasn’t the husband there by my side?! Could I handle a baby? Would I know what to do? What if we didn’t bond well? And worst of all…was I even ready to be a mother?!?To say I was freaking out would probably be an understatement…
Now a little later I know, although it is normal, I didn’t have to turn into a great big mess because lying on that operating table, strapped up to strange contraptions, my mouth covered with an oxygen mask, I can’t recall a time I was happier than those few seconds when they let me gaze upon her face before whisking her away. I realized that my biggest fear about being ready was probably the most foolish of all. Of course I was ready! I’d been ready to be her mother since the day I saw her as nothing more than a little speck on the ultrasound.
April…you have brought with you many nights of disturbed sleep and a painful recovery post surgery, but, you could not have been a more beautiful and blessed month!