It happens overnight.
The grass wakes up and one thousand tiny leaves are all born at once, dusting the landscape with a nascent green. Mother Earth groans through every crack in the soil as tiny shoots press out of the darkness and into the light. The air is damp and the dew that settles by morning blesses every single surface with drops of water made holy by the creeping rays of dawn.
An owl asks the moon to stay. It won't.
It happens overnight.
I convince myself that if I lie perfectly still, it will go away. This is not how I hoped it would happen.
I get up, walk around, sit down, lie back in bed. I can't will this away. It moves toward me like the change of seasons -- not a date marked on the calendar but as an unknowable, untimable transition set in motion by something secret -- the sap flowing under the bark.
I tap his shoulder. Once. He doesn't respond. I don't really want him to. But I wait a moment and tap again. He rolls toward me.
"So," I say.
I pause. The silence is the full moon -- round and complete with two eyes watching from above our heads.
It takes him a few minutes to convince me out of bed again. I know I'm surrendering to gravity once my feet hit the floor. This is a hill I have to roll down.
There's the bustle and the hurry, the phone calls and the neighbor arriving. The night air rushes through the door behind her, circling around my ankles and tugging on me like the tide until I'm outside. In the car.
What was just mild tightens a few notches and I sigh after it loosens again.
"Goodness, it's nice to not have a contraction," I say. We're halfway there.
The next pain holds my head under the water and I gasp for air. He notices the change. I hear him call the hospital and ask that the midwife meet us in the ER. I'm someplace else already. I don't feel the speed he's driving.
We get there. I sense that the lights are too bright and there are more people around me than I would care to share this experience with. I hear his voice on my periphery and its almost too far away but it matters more than anything. I don't care where I am anymore just find me a safe nest so that what's going to happen can happen and I can breathe again.
It does. I do.
They place her on my chest.
I see her sisters written all over her face. But her own name is etched there, too.
First to speak for the color of life. Second to root into family and the strength of one great woman and all the great women I've ever known and the sight to find the good in every breathing thing.
When we get home from the hospital I see green outside the front window. Spring came.
It happened overnight.