It is just a line. It’s not particularly straight although I think at one time it was. I usually don’t even give it much thought; it’s just another part of me the same as my ear lobe or baby toe. This line is parallel to the ground, to the earth upon which I plant my feet. But it’s across my womb to remind me of all I gave birth to on that day.
It came to be one morning in late September when the temperature was moderate and the winds were mild. An average day in every other regard but it was anything but average for me, this young woman, a girl really. Not yet 19 and blissfully unaware of the turmoil that lay ahead.
It is a line that represents so much for me. It is a beginning and an ending; the start of my life as a parent, a mother, a role that stays with us until we depart this earth. It is equally the end of my life without children, without the joy and the heartache that they have naturally, intentionally and unintentionally brought me. Without the richness of their love and creativity that has enhanced my life so greatly. It is the end of my childhood and the beginning of another.
It is just a line
Yet, it represents a before and after. Before this line came to be, I could easily carry on my life thinking only of myself or my immediate circle of friends but this line woke me up to care about a world that my children and their children would inherit. Of course, not everyone needs this most permanent of prompts to care so deeply but it was an early reminder to, above all else, take care.
It underscored the need for me to take care, not only of myself anymore. The good that happened to me now happened to another precious life but so too did the bad. It became the line in the sand of what I would or would not accept for or about myself, what I would give up and what I would fight with all of my strength to protect.
I look at that line now and know it was the start of me finding my voice. From then on, I found the courage from within to do hard things, to stand up so my children could stand tall.
My body has long since accepted it, rolled it into the layers of my being. I’ve lived two-thirds of my life with this delineation of the northern and southern hemispheres of my body and rarely notice it now. But when I do, I am grateful.
If there truly are no straight lines in nature then this is my reminder that this line came unnaturally but with it came so many of the good things in my life. I am grateful.
But it is just a line.