Last week we gathered, down by the river. Women and children from different facets of my life joined together to eat, to share stories, and to extend blessings and love to me and my children.
This intimate and informal blessingway celebrated the new life growing inside of me. Blessings and poems were read, and beads were collected, reminding me of the love, and support of my community as this sweet babe and I prepare for the work of laboring. It was a time, too to honor Zinnia as she transitions into the role of big sister.
As I worked in recent days, stringing mine and Zinnia's beads, I re-read passages and blessings from that night. These blessings and totems from nature will soon find a place on the birth alter in my bedroom/birthing room.
Here's one of my favorites from that evening:
I have mourned lost days
When I accomplished nothing of importance.
But not lately.
Lately under the lunar tide
Of a woman’s ocean, I work
My own sea-change:
Turning grains of sand to human eyes.
I daydream after breakfast
While the spirit of egg and toast
Knits together a length of bone
As fine as a wheatstalk.
Later, as I postpone weeding the garden
I will make two hands
That may tend a hundred gardens.
I need ten full moons exactly
For keeping the animal promise.
I offer myself up: unsaintly, but
By the most ordinary miracle.
I am nothing in this world beyond the things one woman does.
But here are eyes that once were pearls.
And here is a second chance where there was none.
by Barbara Kingsolver
Zinnia, little Turnip, and I thank you Mom (Nana), Chrissi, Melissa, Jules, Avi, Kristin, Nora, Henry, Alecia, and Olivia for your love and blessings.
You have filled us up!
And thanks to Mom & Chrissi (and whoever else) picked up my camera to capture the evening.