It was a beautiful day. My mother shower fell on the festival of Samhain (Beltaine in the North) and we began with all the triumphant beauty of a sunny Autumn day.
All of the women gathered in the red tent that had been set up in our lounge room. The red tent that has been the backdrop for some many rites of passage, so many brides, so many mamma's-to-be and so many celebrations of lifes gifts. The red tent that my hubby and I had created with our own two hands, that has been embellished and seasoned by the hard work and love of Lausy and Tracey during the many years that we have worked together, and that has meant so much to so many.
I was welcomed into the ruby womb space through an archway of raised arms, my little Beansters included, while two of my women drummed for me. It was funny and sweet and symbolic of returning to a safe, pre-birth space where I was held and loved in total and absolute joy. I was welcomed and smudged and crowned with flowers as I contemplated the imminent arrival of a second precious little flower into our family. I was given the opportunity to share my fears and to offer my gratitude for all that I have and to let it all go into the perfection of the moment, knowing that there is only one way out of this journey now and that is through it. Trying to find that trust inside of me that knows how to live this birthing journey and trusting the baby inside of me to tell me when and how to move with the tide when it eventually rises.
Becoming a Big Sister
Lily was honoured with her very own flower crown (and totally outshone her mother in it's wearing) and was gifted with her very own Big Sister ceremony. A simple outpouring of love from my big hearted sisters with a blessing on her changing status. Nothing fancy or difficult for a little one to understand, simply an acknowledgment that as my life changes, so does hers.
And then the time of the pappa arrived. He read out a letter to his beautiful wife (that's me) and to his new, as yet unknown, baby. It was beautiful, moving and eloquent as only my man can be and reminded me yet again of how very, very lucky I am to have such a man at my side and in my arms (when he fits!).
My Man, My Child, My Belly and Me
There was not a dry eye in the house for most of the proceedings and I surprised myself by how much I could cry in company. I wouldn't say it was exactly a comfortable experience to be so vulnerable, even with the women who love me and whom I love so much, but it was a cleansing. I think, in some small way my inability to control myself, as I spend so much of my life trying to do, broke down barriers that have needed breaching for a long time. Indeed, when asked about what fears these beautiful women had for me in life and in labour, 'not reaching out for help' was definitely at the top of the list. They reminded me that they know when I'm struggling, even as I try to hide it or retreat in the face of it. They reminded me that I am held even when I think that I am alone. They reminded me that my community of women is so much more than the individuals within it, it is a place to be healed and to be seen, even when you are at your worst and cannot even face yourself. A deep and wonderful blessing indeed.
Beautiful, beautiful Beanie
It was an unforgettable day. Chanting, playing, creating, honouring, sharing and feasting together. Samhain could not have been celebrated more joyfully or more poignantly. And the ripe round bellies of two others of my circle, added to the beauty of the day. I know that I will be just as blessed to attend their Mother Showers when their time comes, as I have been to sit inside my own sacred circle of women and be blessed by their warmth.
And so, as the full moon wanes, as the heavy rains flood the gardens, as autumn takes of hold of my senses and my rhythms I find myself, if not at peace, then at a place of acceptance. Trusting that when my time comes I will be ready, I will find strength, I will be enough. I am able to ride the occasional tide of panic, I am able to sit with all that is and not try so hard to change it. I am able to be here, in this place of suspended animation, waiting for the door to be flung open and for my descent into the unknown to begin. I am able, despite my flaws and my often graceless handling of life's difficulties, to acknowledge how very blessed I am, to see the beauty and the wonder of my life in it's unfolding because this IS my life happening. I am a part of it unfolding whether I am willing or unwilling to participate fully. The 'what is' IS and I am here, witnessing, uncomfortable, afraid, stoical, unready, willing and waiting for it all to unfold into it's inevitable perfection. And I am grateful.
After all, look at what I already have.