A friend is nearing the day when she will give birth to her first baby.

As she gets closer to her due date, another friend, Susan, and I have been inspired to remember many sweet details about our own experiences of becoming moms a decade or more ago.

We recently realized that we each have powerful memories of what was happening in nature when our babies arrived in the world.

For Susan, her son’s May arrival came at the time in Michigan when the tulips bloom and when the pansies could be planted. She thinks of those flowers when she remembers Owen’s birth.

I can vividly remember that in North Carolina, as the peony buds swelled, so did I, and when I returned home from the hospital with baby Abbey, those peonies were in full bloom to greet her. During labor, as Jim and I were walking and walking around the UNC campus, we saw a bluebird– which seemed like a very good omen. I always associate bluebirds with Abbey’s birth.

My son arrived in January, on a full moon night that was warm and windy. I can remember walking toward the hospital under that bright moon, stopping to hold onto Jim as a contraction passed, with the wind swirling my big billowy dress. A few days after Jesse arrived, the weather changed and I remember snuggling by the fireplace with my newborn boy through a massive ice storm and power outages.

Now that they are grown, I can see connections between the time they came into the world, and their relationships to nature.

My son is a winter boy– he prefers the cold. And the wild weather on the day he arrived is just what he turned out to love– risk and adventure outdoors– big hikes and big mountains.

My daughter has been a gardener since she was tiny. I have a picture of her picking a zucchini that was bigger than she was, and vividly remember her eating sweet banana peppers fresh off the vine as she rode in her stroller. Today she volunteers on a city farm and what nourishes her most is planting and harvesting and hands in the dirt.

I wonder if others have memories like this… I would love to hear.

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