One year ago today, my life changed, my mind changed, and my heart changed forever. I was given a mirror into the deepest parts of myself, I was given a role that at times I didn't think I was equipped for. The love I spent most of my life chasing grew inside of me like a weed. One year ago today, I met my son Nico Leigh.
My concept of time has been altered tremendously over the past year. Some things seem to take forever, but as I look back it feels like the blink of an eye. I am encouraged to cherish every moment. As soon as something happens, it becomes a memory. I try to lock these moments into my brain, but I know even there they are not safe. I will eventually need room for something new. The hoarder in me wants to hold on forever. I repeat the same stories over and over in hope that they will become legend. Each time, I start to forgetting little pieces and I felt a little sad.
My sadness quickly disappears when he comes up to me with big smile, when he says dog over and over and when I see him walking around exploring the world on his own. I've said since my first days as a mother that this is the most bittersweet ride I have ever experienced. It has been full of ups and downs, each moment leading to the next leap in his learning, the next leap in my learning. We are teaching each other. The love I felt when I first saw his face is something I will never forget. This kind of love is an indescribable gift that keeps getting bigger and better.
Spring Grove Cemetery has played a significant role in my journey as a mother. When I first had Nico, there was a mourning period I wasn't prepared for. My life had completely changed and every hormone in my body felt like it was inside out. Having baby in the winter when you are stuck in the house all day everyday didn't help with the isolating feelings. It was scary at times. Once I was able to leave the house for an hour, I would drive to Spring Grove Cemetery. It is close by and the energy there has always been magic for me. Having the time to myself there helped me heal. It still does.
One day last week, my son and I were on our way to the grocery store. We pass by the cemetery on the way. I couldn't resist the allure of the fog that covered the ground, so we took a detour. I photographed this series from my car window as we drove slowly around the cemetery enjoying the moody atmosphere. Nico was looking out the window just as amazed as I was, I felt pride.
Once I was home and processed our experience, I saw the symbolism. Almost a year to the date after I felt some of the most awe inspiring, and difficult days in my life, I realized I wasn't afraid anymore. I wasn't mourning anymore. The fog had finally lifted. I wasn't my old self, she had her time and left me with many valuable lessons. I am someone new, I am a mother. With these new life experiences, this new force of life in my world, I am introduced to strengths I didn't realize I had and a love that leaves me in a constant state of gratitude.