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  • Writer's pictureMelissa Berry

Today, I miss my children

Updated: Apr 29, 2022

April 9, 2022 8:33am

Doe Bay Resort, Padma Cabin

Today, I miss my children

For the first time

in a long time

It probably makes me some other kind of mother

but I have spent a total of 4 solid weeks

away from my children this year –

3 weeks in Mexico with a man I had known for 6 weeks prior to the trip

and a week on an island in Washington state that I had to take a ferry to reach

I haven’t been homesick in years

But then,

I guess you have to leave

to miss the place you’re in

In Mexico, distracted and delighted by the combination of sun, mezcal and hormones

I rarely missed my home

the farmland I love so dearly

the ancient Victorian lady where I birthed both of my children

the darling souls entrusted to Dan and I to guide

I thought of them regularly –

got several souvenirs and chose shells on the beach for each of them

but I didn’t really miss them

or wish to be home really at all.

When the man I was in Mexico with got homesick for the pine trees of Oregon

I think I laughed

How is that possible, I thought

Look at the cactus

Look at your blue eyes

shining at me brighter than the bluest sky I ever laid under

Look at me

Look at us

We are alive here in this desert

Bodies and salt and sweat

This is all I ever want to be

Although I knew it would soon be coming to an end

On the voyage north to Portland

Soon after we crossed the border,

a melancholy set in

nestled deep down in my gut

I didn’t want to go home

I love my children

so fucking much

But going home to them

and to the rainy northwest skies

and the farm I take so much pride in

felt like a death sentence.

I’m sorry that I’m being weird,

I told him at dinner that night.

I feel really weird.

He said he hadn’t noticed and

it felt like that might be a red flag

because are you paying attention

to anything but yourself?

I felt so sad to come home

and fell into a deep depression

My world is in pieces –

sorting out things like

who will live where

and have the kids when

and be responsible for what

simultaneously colliding with

interviewing teenagers for jobs

at the farm

overwhelmed the shit out of me.

Grateful to escape again after two weeks

I drove as far north as I could

and after seven hours of waiting in line

drove my car onto a boat

and then and island

and a windy 25 mph road

with several one-way sections

and I arrived on the shores of Doe Bay

where my alone-ness feels familiar

and not as sad and scary.

I’ve been here alone for many days now

four nights of going to sleep alone

four mornings of waking up alone

and I’m finding that although

sadness followed me here

and rolls over my body

like the slow waves lapping the shores of Otter Cove

the alone-ness itself doesn’t feel sad

and the self I have discovered again

is one that I thought I had lost many years ago.

She is different now, of course,

due to the passage of time

but deep within me,

I have unearthed a me that feels

creative and brave and

tender and loving and

angry and hopeful

and I think I’m ready to bring her home with me

and honor her presence

in my daily life.

I’ve been practicing

allowing myself to feel

instead of distracting myself from my feelings

and writing about it as much as possible.

Thoughts of my children are bringing me

feelings of happiness and clarity

and longing

not dread and sadness

and overwhelm.

So, maybe I’m some other kind of mother –

I would never leave my kids for that long,

you tell me and each other –

or maybe I’m just like you:

A person in the world who is

doing the best that they can

to figure out what their


look like

and how to get there

without harming anyone

in the process.

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