I remember it as if I was still in the moment. But it was last year, September of 2017. We were waiting on Strongland, he was almost here.
It was my request, and she obliged. Skin tight around her round belly she stepped off the brick porch, pulled her shirt up, stomach exposed like a polished boulder, to the coming hurricane. I watched, fascinated. Rain streaked across her skin. Faint, living light, a wash of pewter and sepia swallowed what was the sky. And the wind. Across the street the tall pines bent and bucked and fought and twisted. Branches snapped and crashed onto the slick concrete street.
God how I loved those moments. I wonder, even protected inside his mama’s womb, how much of that hurricane got inside him that day, into his veins, heart and mind. I wish I could have been her, Strongland's mama; she got to know him a lifetime before I even met him.
But I know him better now. I'm learning. I was gone all the night before. We agreed that it just didn't make sense to drive back and forth. Where I was, and what I was doing is not important. Only a handful of things are to me now. But where I was meant I was hours from home. They said the hurricane was heading straight for our home. I left as soon as I could.
Now, tonight, it's just me and Strongland. His mama is working.
I can't say what's coming, I won’t know till it’s gone. Pewter and sepia light has swallowed what was the sky. And I stepped off the brick porch. Rain has streaked across my hands, wrapped tightly around him. Rain has streaked across his forehead, darkening his late autumn corn stalk blond hair.
And the wind. Across the street those tall pines bent and arced and shook and groaned and yielded and stood straight again. Branches gave up and snapped off and crashed to the wet concrete street.
God how I love those moments. I know him better now. Even still I wonder how much of that hurricane became a part of his veins and heart and mind. I've seen him rage. Just like me. Just flashes. I know him better now. I've seen him alight and aware. I know him better now.
Strongland fell asleep in my arms. I carried him to the bed. His quick and shallow breaths are lost to the rotating storm. Lashing rain streaks across the bedroom windows. I can’t say what will become of tonight until it is gone. I'll just hold him. Just like this. And we'll wait on his mama. I'll know him better then, even if it's just Strongland's quick breaths in a hurricane.