Thursday, January 7, 2010

California Sunshine

Bear with me, as I realize that this introduction is rather lengthy...but keep reading as I reveal how my abilities to control the weather relate to my difficulties to believe that I can carry to term.

I was born and raised as a California girl, and have lived in Arizona since 2003.  So when my husband decided to bring me home to Montana with him for our first Christmas together in 2005, he warned me that it could get in really cold.  I admit that I really have no concept of "really cold".  For two weeks before our trip, we checked the weather report, which always seemed to be below zero.  I think I packed every item of warmth that I owned...which really wasn't all that much (again...California girl now living in Arizona).

We arrived--he in a sweatshirt, me bundled in layers and scarves and gloves and a stocking cap.  The temperature that day:  54 degrees Fahrenheit.  It stayed in the mid-50s during the day for the rest of the week, and only dipped to the 20s at night.  My husband assured me that surely this must have been a fluke, and he guaranteed that I would see snow the next year.  But sure enough, I experienced the same thing the following year.  Again, my husband tried to reason with me--perhaps the whole global warming threats really were legitimate.  His family joked that I bring the California Sunshine with me whenever I visit.  I started to believe them, when we had amazing weather the following Thanksgiving.  Three winter visits, and not even an inch of snow!

So I was sure that I would experience sunshine and unseasonably warm weather again this year. I even started "talking smack" about the Montana winters, pulling up the weather report online for anyone who would hear me out.  Sure enough, they were expecting sunshine.  It was with unwavering certainty that I packed my suitcase, sure that I truly was blessed to bring the California sunshine with me wherever I went.  I was convinced that I would have another warm visit and could bask in the glow of the sun (and the appreciative smiles of my in-laws).

But then we started traveling...and then our flight was canceled due to winter storms coming in from the east...and then the snow actually came!  Don't get me wrong--it was beautiful and special to have a "White Christmas" for once.  And although I realize that this truly is "normal" for the region at this time of the year, I was secretly stunned that I hadn't in fact brought the sunshine with me after all.

Now, I realize that I have no secret powers to control the weather.  But I was struck at my unwavering conviction about the weather...and how it is drastically different than my certainty in my ability to start a family.  Before we left, I was rather pompous in declaring that it would be sunny.  I had a confidence about me...that I realize hasn't been there for a while.  Sure, I knew deep down that I didn't have any control over whether or not it would snow, but it was nice to act like I did.  Looking back, I think I once felt this way about my fertility.  When we first started trying in Summer 2007, I assumed it would all happen sooner rather than later, and I trusted that everything would go smoothly.  And why wouldn't it?  I had no reason to believe otherwise.  I hadn't seen any snow or any rain yet, so wouldn't it be all sunny for us?  But then it rained (we initially struggled to get pregnant)...and then it snowed (I experienced loss after loss after loss).  And now I feel like I'm waiting for my sunshine to show itself again.

Like I said--I fully understand that I can't control the weather.  Likewise, I realize I can't control my fertility or my future.  Rather, I have to relinquish it all to God.  I don't know what He has in store for me, but I know that He'll shelter me through it all.

My blessing today was a student who brought me a bottle of apple juice today.  It was such a simple little gesture, but yet it was also so thoughtful.  It's little acts of kindness such as this that get me through the long days as we prepare to start a new semester.  For anyone else in education, I pray that you are equally blessed through your students as your semesters get going as well.

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