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212 pages, Paperback
First published May 2, 2017
I wasn't from around there anymore, but I felt my western Colorado localness as if it were real. Even then. The belief in my own belonging had been a hard-won thing. I'd become part of the mesas and mountains, the sage and piñon, the alpine wildflowers and the rocks above timberline.
It was hard to let go of all that I had to let go. ... I still resist letting go, believing in my belonging the way I used to believe in God.
But, it is all becoming ghosts.
Where do we bury our mothers when there is nowhere we belong? How do we settle with ghosts? (p. 41)
I breathed the go-away-pain breath. The Pitocin dripped. I was going to meet my baby soon.
The Smashing Pumpkins played 'Today' -- 'Today is the greatest.'
In the haze of adrenaline and pain and painkillers and childbirth, I told Ron I understood things.
'It all comes down to this moment.'
He was huddled in the corner, afraid of all the suffering. I told him that it was okay, nothing I couldn't face, and I knew that now. I was so happy.
As I breathed, the adrenaline rushed and raced and swirled and I was back in time when I used to run the country roads, the long winding gravel roads, the skinny paved roads, the dirt path, the empty fields. I was free then. And I ran and ran. Not fast or strong, but free in solitude, I felt a real kind of power. All I needed was my two feet and open space and I had all that.
I ran back into the present, and with one more massive push, met Chiara.
Big bright blue eyes, wispy halo bit of hair. She looked straight into me.
We were born right then, in that moment, born of high elevation Colorado breath and glacial peaks and narrow whitewater rivers and wide desert sky and hope for more compassion, less violence, and something more--solitude. Freedom. I wanted to give her something I'd received.