Zipping past me in a blur of color is Rancho Santa Fe, if one were to slow the car–and time–you would see beauty abounds.
There by the roadside a white and lavender carpet of color stretches up to greet the sky, pink bougainvillaea wrapped trellises sit behind massive iron gates, horses too lazy to move in the heat of day dot the now brown pastures already parched from lack of rain.
I am in the backseat of a forward moving car–a car that is being driven by our youngest child, the last of the trio to climb into the driver’s seat–and for what feels as if it is the millionth time as a mother, I find myself thinking about the passage of time.
I see her; profile mostly, sun-glass clad, hair pulled back, hands steady on the wheel…the whole world in front of her.
And I, alone in the back, listen to the slow steady rhythm that is captured in this moment, amiable conversation between father and daughter blends with the warm air from my open window, summer insects song, and the occasional whiz of the automobiles moving past us, each headed away from the direction where my mind is going–back, back, back.
As if signaling to us she would forever be in a hurry to take her next step, she was nearly born in a fast moving car…
Through gritted teeth I announced the rolling wave of another contraction.
“That was less than a minute apart…” Jimmy states as the car speedometer edged toward 90 miles per hour.
“…and your point?”
“My point?” he responds, in what was a poor effort to mask his rising anxiety, “This is your third birth!”
“Well here comes another one.” cleansing breath, cleansing breath…
As it happened, while most of San Diego was probably hitting the snooze button on their alarm clocks, we made it to the hospital, 20 minutes later she was nestled in our arms.
Caught in the steady beam of memory, the images from the years that followed, now scroll through my mind–the way she looked bundled up ready for her car ride home hours after her birth, the bright red dress she wore days later for her first Christmas card picture and the heart wrenching care each of her brothers took to hold her gently in their arms.
A year or so later Jimmy, on bended knees at the shoreline with her digging in the sand, happily unaware that the slow steady spin of the earth would launch us forward in a way that would leave us wondering if we had even blinked.
The passage of time is forever memorialized in the garage where we once stood, bare heels against sheetrock on warm summer days, pen in hand chronicling the growth from the previous spent year.
Now, as the engine stills, my mind is skipping, repeating over and over–notice everything, mark the time–one day each of these moments will be cast in a rear view mirror, forever tattooed on our hearts.