cafe mama

finding magic every day

prayers for births . june 26 . 2007

From the pregnant blog...

Yesterday evening, I walked around my garden picking herbs to bring to Destiny. Some of them were from my garden -- flowering chervil, cilantro, stunningly aromatic (and beautiful) tangerine sage, rosemary, lavendar -- some were growing wild, lemon balm, dark purple clover. I set them all in a little silver pitcher and breathed in their complex, tangy aroma, and thought of birth.

Today two women close to me, with whom I've shared this pregnancy, are in labor ... my sister-in-law, Destiny, who I visited last night and brought the aromatics; and Krista, who lives in British Columbia and is thus too far away for the herbs to safely travel. So for both of them, laboring under different roofs but under the same warm, sunny sky, I write this special birth meditation (here is my original birth meditation, written a little more than two years ago, when it rained). Throughout today I will read it and remember, and honor, them and all the other women in labor today.

herbs for your birth
Today you give birth. Today, the sun shines warmly on the earth for you; today the breeze shifts through the windows for you. Today the robins stand guard over their nests, the squirrels run swiftly, the bees ride home heavy with pollen, for you.

lavendar for devotion
As I take a breath, deep into my belly, swelled with life, taut, heavy and real, baby, another being, I am filled with the air of the earth, busy, purposeful, growing. Its heat, its cool, its smell ... bright, tangy, sour, sweet, peppery ... it gives me calm. Everything is in me, everything is me, I take power and restfulness from the trees whose leaves rustle for me, the clouds whose white whisps wander over the light, deep, dark blue sky for me, from the scent of the lavendar, devotion, I whisper it to myself like a prayer, a song, a truth that is deep to my spine. Devotion, lavendar, full of ancient peace.

As I exhale, I expel my worries, my questions, my belief in the what if?. The uncertainties blow through the sparkly tiny white flowers of chervil (for serenity) and cilantro, they shatter into spicy nothingness, letting go of them brings me to my center, it is empty now, clear of breath, clear of care.

In its place I breath in the sweet complexity of citrus and sage, I see the brightness of crimson, color of blood that pulses through my veins, making them stronger than before, feeding life into the babies who I have given life, sage for wisdom. I am wise, filled with the knowledge of my body, the quiet constant presence of dozens, hundreds, thousands, millions, billions of women who have gone before me, on this very earth from which I breathe in strength, who have breathed and labored and wailed and keened and loved and suffered in childbirth and in life. Their wisdom fills me as the brilliant scent of tangerine sage rushes in through my nose, over my palate, deep into my lungs. Now my whole being is full, full of the wisdom of mothers, full of sweetness, full of comfort.

And as I breath out, again, it roots my body into the earth. I am centered, I am the center, I know where the deepness is. From the rosemary I have remembrance, I have everything in me, a million fears conquered, a million hopes thrilled. I have remembrance of the first time I desire to be a mother, of when I was a child, how I knew that one day, I would be this woman, this mother, that I would be ready in this moment. And I am. I know everything, I know all, my body is as strong as the mountain's foundation, as powerful as the mighty October waves.

As I breath in, the waves surround me with their salty coldness, wash over me in the power of each contraction. I can feel the wetness in my hair, it comes from the earth, it gives me power. The contraction gives my body strength, it rises deep from my back, my cervix, swelling through my uterus, surrounding its roundness with a more fundamental shape, building in power that almost blinds me with its might. I say silently to myself the word intensity, and think, force, muscle.

Everything in me is muscle, creating a drive that will quietly, intensely, calmly and authoritatively push this life out into the world. I feel the slipperiness, the sticky odors, the heat of my breath and the cool of the air, all of this, blood, sweat, fluid, all working together toward life, toward our goal. Motherhood, I say to myself, and it is the most commanding and malleable word I know, it powers me with its scent of sage, rosemary, lavendar, lemon balm, blood, sweat, sun, wind, tears and love.

Today you give birth. Today, you are strong; today, I send you serenity, wisdom, devotion, joy. Today you are a mother.

paying the bills

read my previous post . crow fright . june 23 . 2007