the fisherman's wife

Tonight, I had a vision of myself in a past life.

I was a fisherman's wife, and I was a mother then, too. A slow moving, gentle one, with hair fish-tail braided down my back and two babes that clung fast to my knees like barnacles. Our home smelled like mud and like the stark salty greenness of seaweed, and our windows were always half fogged from the constant rolling pot on the stove - fish bone soup, boiled potatoes, cabbage leaves cooked in oil. 

In the vision, I saw myself standing tall, a lighthouse, breeze at my back, watching my children collect stones by the tide. I was a mother only, and that was enough.

That can be enough in this life, too.

As I round the bend from a mother of one, to a mother of many, the question has been humming like cool air between my bones: What kind of mother do I want to be?

And I think that the answer is becoming stronger daily, as he lowers himself within me, as he rolls and hiccups and prepares his body to be born. Like half-fogged windows wiped clean, I can see the reflection of myself: healed. Whole.

I want to be a harbor for my children. Low-waving lamplight, glowing softly, gently, guiding so quietly that I am more a feeling than I am a sound. I want the thought of me to summon the smell of cinnamon, of ginger, of spices warming in milk on the stovetop. I want to touch softly, speak gently, praise often, spill kindness. 

"I am your mother," I tell them. I close my eyes. I wipe the fog from the window and touch myself between the shoulder blades. "I will mother you, too."