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The river only seems to flow backwards.

I nestle in the callused hand of the earth. I am new life pushing through the soil’s crust. I spread my roots downward to vestiges of water, reaching for my Creator. If I am cut back I will emerge in a new place; send a soft, green bud to look again.

I am the fair, pink blossom in search of a bee, seeking to prolong my life against all odds, against the certainty of my death. I have endless flowers for You in my growing center, in the stems and shoots my soul puts out in all directions. Some day my tired leaves will nourish You. Watch out for me; send the red-winged blackbird to bring me home

Meditation on Psalm 91, part III
Janet Berkenfield, 1991

I never ever read the inspirational poems that other people post. I just can’t do it. I guess I overdid it on the poetry in high school. I swore I’d never post anything inspirational. But apparently that isn’t stopping me.

I first noticed this piece in our Chavurah’s (think very small synagogue, with no rabbi, filled with hippies) home grown prayer book during the TWW for what was ultimately this pregnancy. I was in that place where you are hoping, yet trying so hard not to hope.

This poem gave me a sense that we could keep going. That cycle was very long and didn’t look good. My egg was really old (day 27) and at several points it had looked like we’d have to skip the cycle. Surely it was just more wasted vials. But after I read this, I really believed that if someone was in there, they were trying their absolute best to persevere, and that if they didn’t make it, or had never even had a chance, they would come back again. Somehow it hit the right mix of pessimism and hope, not in opposition to each other, but as part of the same whole. As I read it now, as we are trying to find a way as a family through was is turning out to be a rather difficult first trimester, ultimately looking forward to birth, it keeps turning over new meanings.

So I offer it here, in case anyone actually reads inspirational things. Maybe it will hit the right blend of pessimism and hope for someone else.

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