“If a tree falls in a forest, does it make a sound?”
If I was asked this last Mother’s Day, I would have said, “Of course, it does.” Though my answer would have had no actual basis or reasoning other than my logical thinking, and I would have likely preceded my response with a slight eye roll coupled with a “No, duh.”
A year later, I celebrate this fourth Mother’s Day with a concrete answer.
That fallen tree damn well would have made a sound.
To question the presence of a sound questions the tree’s presence at all. And while you and I may not have seen that tree fall, or hell, ever seen the tree before at all, it does not make it any less of a tree. And when trees fall, they make a sound (no, duh).
But that sound is not just an echoing boom that lives for a few seconds – it is also the echoes of its death, the domino effect of its absence. The living tree had a presence, an impact on its environment. It supported the earth it was rooted in. It offered a home to animals and shade to plants. It was part of an ecosystem. Its death would have also had a reverberating impact. The fallen body would house different animals. It would fertilize the earth and clear way to create new life. The ecosystem would evolve from its absence, being no better and no worse from it. It would just be.
This Mother’s Day, when looking to break my 5 month blog hiatus and share the reason for my absence, I could only think of this question.
Because the past year has had its own domino effect on me.
This Mother’s Day, I am no better and no worse than last year. I just am. I am beyond happy to be 5 months pregnant. My womb is graced by butterfly kicks and little squirms. And I am still absolutely enamored by my three year old, her antics, beauty and spirit.
But, I can’t help but to think of how this holiday would have been if I did not have trees fall in my forest.
In one scenario, I would have been a mother to a one month old baby, balancing a rambunctious toddler while practicing my fourth trimester.
In another scenario, I would have been 8 months pregnant glowing in anticipation of my upcoming birth.
This Mother’s Day, I know damn well that that fallen tree would have made a sound. Because this Mother’s Day, I carry the vibrations of two miscarriages.
I bounce between joy, grief, anxiety, and hope because those little babies left their marks. Those experiences birthed a new me – a new woman, friend, wife and mother from the pain, loss, and grief. To question the absence of those trees questions the absence of life and I know that while a life may have silently left us as it silently arrived, it does not make it any less material and it does not leave any less of an echo.