a humble fear; 21 weeks pregnant

I've never felt this before, but I have a feeling it's going to become familiar.

This constant fear. It swells and picks up and licks at the shores of my skin, and then recedes, draws inward, churning like a cautious sea. It's fickle, changeable, and I feel it sometimes in my stomach, sometimes in the back of my throat, or behind my eyes, or inside my womb, but it never really goes away.

It's three in the morning (again), and I'm sitting up under the covers, listening to the rain on the roof of our apartment. KC is sleeping, and I want to wake him, but I don't. I lace my fingers over my belly instead and breathe in the smell of the sky.

There's a little knock from within me. A little foot, maybe, or an elbow, or a fist. Outside the window, lightning breaks through the clouds and momentarily turns the night into day.

Another kick. A roll of thunder. A flash. New life stretching against fleshy barriers.

I move my hand from one side of my belly, to the other, fingers light and warm with waiting. The storm picks up, eases away, picks up again and tosses cold sheets of rain against the screen. Another growl from beyond the clouds. I wait for a flash.

And I know now that it's the same kind of fearful, humbled waiting. Waiting for a kick. Waiting for lightening.

I'm afraid. But it's not the kind of fear that I'm used to feeling. Like the kind you get when your car rolls over a slick spot in the road, or when you realize that the last of the savings account has been drained. It's not the kind of fear that I'm used to swallowing, or overcoming, or rising against. I don't think I would want to, even if I could. I need to feel it.

Because it's kind of like standing out in a thunderstorm, waiting for lightening, tasting the rain on my tongue and my skin and knowing that the beauty of the weather is much greater than the fear of being washed away. I feel the same kind of marvelous wonder (humbled fear; absolute surrender) when I place my hands on my stretching skin and wait...

I think that maybe I'll always feel this.

And it's horrible. And it's beautiful. And it's like I'm getting ready to give birth to my own, beating heart and send it walking alone about the planet. It's like walking out a bit farther into the sea. Like watching the storm crawl in on the horizon. Waiting for lightening.