A March Memory
A March Memory
The lion winds of March uttered their deep and prolonged howls through the streets, making the bellows even more pronounced because of the tunnel effect created by the tall brick townhomes that lined both sides of the street. Wearily, I climbed the stairs and made my way into each bedroom to look in on my two children who were sleeping soundly. It was twenty-six years ago. I remember it well because I was in the first stages of labor with my third baby.
I was still three weeks away from my due date, so I attributed the cramps to Braxton Hicks and figured they'd subside. They didn't. So, Steve and I got in our 1980 blue Pontiac and headed from our cozy townhouse in Alburtis to Allentown Hospital.
The night air was cool and the winds were still fierce. The painted white lines of the vacant streets glowed from the light of nearby street lamps and traffic lights. Steve stopped at a red light and I blew breaths through another contraction. Even through the painful tightness of the contraction, I noticed the trees--the majestic sycamores--that even until this day line Hamilton Blvd. They swayed to the tune of the wind's music calming my expectant mother's nerves.
I was awestruck by those trees since the first time I visited Steve when we were teenagers, long before we fell in love. Thirty years later, I still find myself awestruck by them. There's something about how they line both sides of the street and their branches arch over the street through the small town. They've always been so grand, whether their branches sway in rainstorms or dutifully hold winter's heavy snow. Whether they shade the passing cars from summer's heat, or their leaves move about like an autumnal kaleidoscope in fall, they are beautiful and solid friends.
Twenty-six years ago on March 3rd, in the wee hours of the morning, lines of tall sycamores along the road, the symbols of life, were like witnesses standing on the sidelines of a marathon, with their branches blowing in the late winter wind, cheering and guiding our way to the hospital, to 17th and Chew in Allentown.
Like the lion winds, the deep and prolonged groans of my labor pains echoed against the walls of the birthing room. With Steve by my side, a head nurse took the place of a doctor who didn't arrive in time for the fast and furious delivery of my son, Drew, all ten pounds, eight ounces of him. It was twenty-six years ago, and I remember it well. It was March and it was winter's end. I felt energized and joyful because I held love in my arms.
I will always love the sycamores and I will always remember the night they cheered me on.