Twenty-nine years ago, I spent my first Mother’s Day on the obstetrics floor, childless and recovering from a traumatic delivery.
The warmth of my Crayola crayon peach-colored room was no match for my cold, angry, and broken heart that Sunday in May. You see, two days prior, on May 6th, my firstborn son died. He spent a mere 24 hours in the NICU before his tiny soul rose to heaven.
The traumatic loss of my first child, and my inability to process the pain I felt, shaped how I dealt with everything for all of the years that followed. After almost three decades, and many attempts to make peace with my anger and grief, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and sign up for my first yoga retreat.
On the morning of May 6th, the women from the retreat and I made our way to the beach at dawn. As we walked, I mentioned to my leader that I felt the sunrise was going to hold something spectacular for me that day for I felt pulled there by God, despite my desire to remain in the warm cocoon I had created in my beach house bed.
The coolness of the wet sand permeated my mat’s pores and made its presence known, as I waited to see what God had in store for me. The glow of the sunrise spun the clouds into pink cotton candy that hovered above the horizon, and below, the waves collided into explosive, effervescent splashes, like a newly opened can of seltzer. I mindfully listened to the crash and felt the spray, while I prayed that God would make his presence known today.
When I was done, I turned to my leader and said, “You know I never saw a sunrise until my 50th birthday?”
The realization that I had missed the beauty, the optimism, and the hope a sunrise can offer you, over 18,000 days, knocked me over with the force of a wave to a toddler in the surf. Instantly, I made a promise to myself that when I have the opportunity to witness God’s power and presence in a sunrise, I will gladly rise and shine each time.
My soul was filled that May 6th morning. My heart embraced God, and when I closed my eyes, I saw a green light. Interestingly, when I sought to find out the green light’s meaning, bamboo yoga.com’s explanation put everything into perspective for per their website, “the color green is connected to the heart chakra, which often surprises people. This chakra can become blocked from pain or trauma, but when it flows, opens us up to give and receive love. Inner peace, forgiveness, and compassion are all associated with this chakra.”
One of my intentions for this retreat was to find inner peace. Being there was no coincidence. God had a plan for me, and I felt it in the sunrise. His gift to me was having my son experience the sunrise with me this morning. His free-flying spirit resembled a white bird in the distance, evidenced by the video I captured. I’ll forever be able to see his reflection soaring high above the sun. It was confirmation that not only is God always with me, but my angel is as well.
Afterward, as I walked the beach, I came upon a shell tree, one in which you place a shell in memory of someone you loved and had the opportunity to pay tribute to my baby. I took a moment to reflect, thank him for being there, and to tell him how much I love him and miss him every day.
To say something spectacular happened this morning is an understatement. I felt the healing. I felt the love.
To think, I would not have experienced this had I not paid attention to God’s nudge.