Monday, May 25, 2009 R.S.V.P.

When Dave and I were planning our wedding 15 years ago we sent invitations to a lot of people we knew would not attend. We were planning an outdoor, white tent, casual reception to celebrate our marriage that had begun in January of that year at a very intimate ceremony. It would take place at my parents acreage in Canada, while the vast majority of David's friends and family were in Scotland. He had only decided to stay here a few months prior when I swept him off his feet...but that's another story. In response to our invitation most of the guests from Scotland went out and bought RSVP cards to mail back to us. One special person in particular sent us a card to express her dismay at not being able to attend.

Winnie Huggins lived across the street from David in Aberdeen. She had been there as long as they had lived on Craigton Road (since David was three). She was a spinster and didn't have family living near. So David and his parents did what they could to help her out. Fetching groceries, taking her to appointments and David's job was to fill her coal bucket from the bin outside. She wasn't a demure and sweet old lady. She had feist. When David told me about her I knew she would be a kindred spirit. Cranky, spirited, mischievous and with a touch of soft and gooey on the inside. She had a string of cats, all named Fluffy and all as cranky as her! She lived in a large old house on a piece of land that was owned by the city council and when they approached her to give notice of eviction so that they could build a seniors residence she fought them tooth and nail. In the end they agreed to build her a new residence on the property and consider her under their care. She suffered from diabetes and had a lot of trouble with her legs. She'd had multiple surgeries and treatments but healing was slow or non existent and she was unable to get around very well. Dave went over to check on her one afternoon and she didn't answer the door. Of course it was locked and he was forced to break in a window to make sure she was ok. She had fallen and as procedure dictated he notified her caregivers who in turn called an ambulance. When they arrived she was quite dismayed with all of the hubbub. Not only did she insist that the paramedics get the hell off her property but they should have David arrested for breaking into her home. I couldn't wait to meet her.

Her RSVP to our wedding invitation read "It would give me great pleasure to see you both thoroughly engaged in matrimony" but naturally she would have to decline. Those words "thoroughly engaged in matrimony" became emblazoned in my memory. I was completely smitten by this woman and the depth in which she could describe our union. She seemed truly delighted that David had found matrimonially bliss. In fact there was almost a cheekiness to her response. As if she was taunting us. I loved it! Winnie passed away two years later, only months before my first trip to Scotland. I never got to meet her.

6 years ago we were anticipating the birth of our daughter. We didn't know she would be a "she" so we had lists of names to consider of both gender. On our list of girl names we included Winnie. It had been on the list for years to be truthful. In the end we settled on Meg (the name of another dear old friend in Scotland). We had tried to work Winnie into the name but somehow it just didn't fit. We have a new list of names (of both genders) as we await the arrival of this baby. I have revisited many of the names we considered 6 years ago. And when thinking about Winnie I was reminded of that RSVP. "...thoroughly engaged in matrimony..." It made me think about this ritual of marriage. This need to be honoured and seen as you make the tranformative journey from bride to wife, from groom to husnband. To have all of the people that have helped to shape you come together to bare witness to this shift in your life's path. As if not having them there would leave them behind in your old life and not give them the frame of reference to journey forth with you and your spouse as you forge ahead in partnership. As a society our reverence for this ritual has wained. I wish we honoured it more "thoroughly" on a soul level.

The next rite of passage for most couples after marriage is the journey to becoming parents. This incredible time of tranformation, unfolding and growth is now most often marked by medical-like notations in a baby book and a baby shower to play silly games and place wagers on the sex and weight of the new arrival. Most times leaving the father completely out of the picture. I am craving something different. I am wanting to connect with everyone that has seen me unfold as a mother over the last 6 years. I am hungry to have people dear to me bare witness to me as I am "thoruoghly engaged" in gestation. I want all of the people I love to admire my ripening body and see that at 36 I have found the youth and innocence of a maiden once again. I want to connect to this energy and ensure that I bring these people forward with me as I journey onwards from here.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

...a gemini.

At yoga this week we had a discussion about our babies astrological signs and how that may affect the way we are feeling or behaving as we gestate these babies. I had not really considered what sign this baby was likely to be. I had only really thought about the fact that this baby had only a chance of being a cancer. I am a cancer, Meg is a cancer and I love the qualities of this sign. Of course I do... I am one. I feel like water courses through my veins sometimes. Although I love to get away and seek adventure, I equally love to come home. And Meg and I fit together so perfectly in this way. Our hearts are in our home and family. I know Meg in a way that I had not considered before and perhaps that is part of why I felt in such deep connection with her while she grew in my belly. In fact as I was nearing the end of my 42nd week of pregnancy and the changing of the astrological signs I feared I may have a Leo and it worried me. I don't know why but I felt that baby needed to be a cancer. Strangely I don't even think about astrology all that much normally.

This baby could not have been conceived any closer in date to when we conceived Meg. But this time I am just as likely to have a Gemini as I am a cancer. Our solstice baby could be born on either side of the cusp. My gut has been telling me all along that this baby is more likely to be early and I have come to terms with the fact that I will may not have another cancer to add to my brood. That is where I stopped thinking about it. Until Thursday night... When my yogini asked us what signs our babies would be I was not even sure what came before cancer. We figured it to be Gemini and it was like a lightbulb went off in my head. Now it all made sense. It was clear why I had felt so many conflicting things in any given moment, such duality... the feeling that I want things to hurry up and slow down all at once... maybe even why it felt like this baby had eight limbs. I have been gestating twins! Even from the start of my pregnancy I had a small nagging thought that I was carrying twins. I had no idea that this was what that all meant. And now I am eager to see what this will mean as we get to know this Gemini baby and see how this piece of our family puzzle will fit.

Now I feel even more certain that this baby will not wait for the solstice to arrive. It just all seems to make so much sense that I can't imagine it will go any other way. It sounds in some ways like I have some sort of hope or agenda for this babies time to join our family. But I really don't. Without looking at a calendar I am feeling myself shifting into that birthing zone. Knowing that soon I will be in that window of anticipation when any day holds the potential to be my baby's birthday. That one day I will wake to the last day with this view from here. And each of those days holds such wonder and psyche building energy. Just when will I come to that edge, close my eyes, hold my nose and leap...

Friday, May 15, 2009

...a lemonade stand.

Last week Dave watched this video and decided to share it with Meg.

They talked about what it meant and dave asked her what she would like to do... Would it be an adventure, a journey... It could be anything. She seemed delighted at the idea of doing whatever she wanted. Animated with the possibilities. First she said she would like to take a long car ride "back to that river that we went to with Nanny and threw rocks in". We played hookie one day this fall and went on an ambling drive West past Genesee. There is a beautiful spot down by the river where we spent an hour or so. Nanny showed Meg how to skip rocks and we just let the day pass. It was blissful.

She liked this idea and wanted to explore some more. Dave then suggested that she could do something new. Something she had never done before. "A lemonade stand" It was that simple and that fabulous all at once. I never had a lemonade stand. Dave never had a lemonade stand. He pointed out that it had been in the video they watched and then there was no stopping her flood of planning and brainstorming. We started that night to try out homemade lemonade recipes and we will work to perfect them while we wait for the weather to cooperate so that our lemonade stand will be an oasis in our little neighbourhood and the customers will flock to have their thirst quenched.

What do you want to do before you die?

...a friend.

I am blessed. I am surrounded by so many amazing women. My family is comprised of some of the most phenomenal women I know and is born of an amazing feminine legacy. I am very proud of this. I feel deeply attached to my ancestral lineage and know that these women that machteted their way through life ahead of me have allowed me to adorn that path with my own grace and beauty, love and compassion. They have made it easy for me. And as a result I have been able to culture some pretty incredible friendships. And even some pretty incredible acquaintances. The type of people that you know well enough to hug when you greet each other and would feel comfortable to cry with but don't fall into the category of people you call or get together with regularly. What a blessed life I have. I have friends that span the globe and that endure the distance and time between us. If this is a way to measure my wealth I am very rich indeed!

Now more than at any other time I feel compelled to soak in this sea of feminine energy. I want to lay my head back in the water and float on the waves of this soulful sea. I have been drifting this way for months now and it is clearly evident in my inability to focus, attend to the needs of others and generally see a task through to it's end. I am scatterbrained and it makes me smile a little to know that this is the energy that will serve me as my path unfolds towards my birth. The divine feminine. The flowing, oozing, soft, yet powerful qualities that I will need to traverse this portion of my journey are seeping into every part of my life. I was reminded to accept this energy with grace by one of my dearest friends. She knows me in a way so unique I can not put it into words. She is a person I never knew I was missing in my life until she was a part of it.... and now I have no idea how I ever felt complete without our relationship. We have not seen each other for almost a year now and I am aching to see her while I am in this place of fullness and standing, a bit anxiously on the edge of a whole new sense of being. Yesterday she booked a flight to be here for my Mother Blessing in a few weeks. I am overjoyed. This feels like the thing I need to complete the final steps of my preparation before I make my solo journey into the underworld. She will help me to don my medha, she is my handmaiden. Together we will gather my robes, breast plate, lapis necklace and gold bracelets. She will help me dress, comb my hair, apply my make up and wash my feet to honour the journey ahead. Then she will bid me farewell as a maiden-mother of one. Never to return....

Monday, May 11, 2009

...a shift in the energy around here.

Flailing a little here.... that 5 year old I was smitten with a couple of weeks ago is short on sleep and now her adoration feels like cling film. I now feel a bit like I have given in one too many times to her neediness and now it has become a problem. Ah, the doubt creeps in. Am I building independence by allowing her the chance to feel safe or am I building dependence by not allowing her to work things out for herself? Why is this question coming up now? There is a shift in energy around here. A little anxiety, a little panic and a lot of exhaustion and frustration are eating away at our foundation at the moment. I wish I could freeze my gestation and allow some time to pass. Allow our lives to settle in to our summer routine and get our feet under us a bit before it all changes once again. And in a few days I will feel different again.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

...a mother.

This is the woman I am thankful for on this day.

Monday, May 4, 2009

...something that is urgent-ish.

Last week my midwife scared me. Normally not a sentence one utters. Midwives are not generally very scary people or people that raise undo concern. I love my midwife and I am quite certain that her induction of panic in me was completely unintentional. I have been watching the days tick by with painstaking sluggishness over the last 7 months. In some ways I have been wishing this time away. Hoping for the end to come into clear sight before I lost my mind with the feeling of being unwell all the time. But now the days seem to be slipping from my grasp at an alarming rate. So last week when my midwife reminded me that I was very nearly 33 weeks and wow, next visit I would be approaching the 5 week countdown... I kinda freaked out. So now I have been fitting as many appointments as possible into my weeks, trying to sort out as much as I can at work and making a list of the must-have-done things around the house. Thank goodness my energy level is up but now with any prolonged activity my belly is one big contraction ball. Oy! I think I will be hopelessly unprepared when this baby arrives but I gave over to the idea of unpreparedness over 5 years ago when we welcomed the first small soul into our lives.

I have been lamenting that I have "done nothing" for this baby. I have not spent a lot of time reflecting romantically on the miracle of life. I have not sought out soulful prenatal preparation, even though it is something that I offer to parents and highly recommend. I have not been to the chiropractor weekly and the massage therapist monthly to nurture my growing and shifting body. I have not made any physical preparation to my home to accommodate for our change in lifestyle. I haven't even begun to prepare my homebirth supplies or got a hold of a car seat. I wasn't feeling terribly guilty about any of this either but slightly apologetic. Now I have come to believe that this is the way that this baby is supposed to arrive. I have stopped doing what I think "should" be done in this time of gestating a new life for my family. Instead my lack of "focus" is allowing me to attend to what ever is coming through to me at any given time. I think this is why I have had no resistance to my changing and overwhelmingly beautiful relationship with my first born over the last few months. I may have missed this incredible time in our lives if I had been fully immersed in my pregnancy and preparations for birth. Perhaps this is the soulful preparation I needed to ignite my mother spirit once again...

Friday, May 1, 2009

...a lullaby.

Sho Heen
Artist - Kate Rusby

Sleep my friend now I'll watch o'er you
The moon is here and the stars adore you
Close your eyes and you'll sleep just fine
Said my guardian angel once upon a time

Sho Heen Sho lo, lu la lo, lu la lo
Sho Heen Sho lo, lu la lo, lu la lo

Why has my angel gone from me
The moon I fear and the stars fall on me
I won't close my eyes 'till the morning light
Oh bring on the sun I cannot rest tonight
Sleep my friend oh I'll watch o'er you
The moon is here and the stars adore you
Close your eyes and sleep tonight
Oh my blessed angel, here again, goodnight