This morning I filled my own cup. Actually, I filled it several times with about 5 different kinds of tea starting with Pomegranete Zinger to Peppermint Lane (the last bag, boohoo). More importantly my emotional/spiritual cup was filled because I was able to sit in a circle and soak up the wisdom of 10 of the most humble and powerful women I've ever met. These are women who brave the pressures of conformity to risk their freedom and their sanity to give of themselves, their knowledge, their time, and often their sleep to serve women and families in our community. They bring food, education and stories to my home every other month which fulfills the requirements of our licenses and certificates, and more importantly fulfills the needs in our souls and hearts to connect with others who are one in purpose. We listen, cry, laugh and sit enraptured as stories unfold before us.
I worked as a midwife for 10 years before I felt like I could call myself one and compared to some of these women, I still feel inexperienced. I realize now though that as with any other discipline in life, learning is forever. I am excited knowing that there is still more to know, and maybe in starting this blog, I have found a way to express to you why this job keeps calling to me. I have never felt as honored and humbled as I have when any one of these women tells me that I made a good choice or asks me for my opinion. They are modern day heroines and I am blessed to sit in their circle.
My hope for all women everywhere is that you will meditate/pray/listen to the inner callings in your hearts and that you will have the courage to go where they call you. Remember that courage is not the absence of fear, but it is doing it anyway even though you are fearful.
With a happy, heart full of joy in this day, because your hopes and dreams matter.
Sunday, February 28, 2010
A baby girl was born yesterday and as I heard her first cry, I watched her mama wrap her up in her arms and tell her that "everything's going to be all right". As I watched the miracle unfold once again I paused and gave thanks that one more time, it worked. In that moment, I heard my own mother's voice in my head saying to me 'you're ok, and it's going to be all right". The words are so simple. Not earth shattering or mentally stimulating, yet they can make the world seem sweet and safe and right again. We women have so much power within us. The words we speak to our children are so important. They hear everything and when they are too little to understand the exact words, they understand the emotion. When that mama told her baby that everything's going to be all right, she might not have known it but she was also speaking to herself, telling herself that she was ok too. Just for today, try speaking words out loud that remind your own hearts that everything's going to be all right. You will find that anyone with in the sound of your words will feel better, your heart will feel a little lighter and the smile-o-meter will jump to full. Just try it. It works.
Friday, February 26, 2010
Today I had the honor of sitting for an hour with two beautiful ladies. We sipped a warm drink and admired each other and talked about home life, family and our feelings about who we are. I thought as I sat there that I wish times like these didn't have to end but there were appointments to keep and a little boy to pick up from school. We lingered as long as possible until the cell phone reminded us that our time together was up. So my daughter picked up her daughter and we ran to our cars as the rain started coming down.
As my appointments came to an end another beautiful daughter stopped by to visit for a little while bringing her laughter and 3 sweet children to brighten the end of my day. As we began our dinner preparations, the rain stopped, and the sun appeared and with the sun came the most colorful rainbow in the eastern sky. We all stood at the doorway to admire it and I wished that I could stop time once again.
I have thought about the rainbow all evening and I picture it arcing across the sky and I realized that even a beautiful, vivid rainbow has a beginning and an end, a starting and a stopping. It is a moment in time that helps me remember that all things begin and end, the wonderful moments and also the difficult ones. No matter how hard we think things are, and that sometimes we can't see an end to them, they will always end and there will be something wonderful that will begin. Having babies is like that, hard and wonderful. I heard a man say once "my wife was in labor for 18 hours. I don't know about you but I wouldn't even want to do something I liked for 18 hours". When I think about the 9 times I labored, I don't remember much about the hard parts, but I do remember the sweet parts, the soft parts, and the baby smell parts. These are the moments that I have captured in my hearts journal. Today I will add a lovely time spend together with two daughters and grandchildren singing Beatles Songs with Jared and Ashley and Tim. It was a lovely rainbow day.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
I am not a writer, nor do I really want to become one. What I am is a woman. I am a daughter, and a mother of women. I have a very busy life, mostly serving other women while they do what is uniquely woman's work, specifically, conceiving, birthing, and nurturing children. I have given birth to 9 children of my own and have witnessed the births of somewhere around 650 other babies while attending to their mothers. Although I have 'paused' from physically giving birth, I have begun to feel the stirrings of a new idea growing inside me. Today the labor has begun and I give birth to this blog.
There are women who are completely satisfied with their entire lives out there somewhere, I am sure of, but there are many of us who are mostly, sometimes, or rarely satisfied with our lives. It is to these of which this blog is written, hoping to help you feel that you are not alone and why it is so important to feel a part of the flock.
I also welcome posts from those of you who have found complete happiness and why.
I chose the EWE acronym which stands for Every Woman Everywhere Matters. A ewe of course is a female sheep. Sheep have since biblical times been used as an example of mildness, meekness, followers, and needing a shepherd to guide them. There is also a great story or parable about the lost sheep, which the shepherd went out of his way to find even though there were plenty of other sheep to take care of. This is how I feel about the women in my life, each one being so important that if any one became lost, I would go out of my way to find her and bring her back in to safety. For as I have traveled through life, I know that we are safer together. I believe that we are tribal sisters and that the fruit canning and quilting bees that our grandmothers attended where just reasons to come together to fill each others cups and replenish each others hearts.
I do admit that I relate to the sheep visual for other reasons. First, I am a knitter. This alone should suffice as the only reason to love sheep but second, I love the whole flock idea. I grew up in a flock with 4 sisters and a single mom/sister and we have been flocking together every chance we get. As soon as I could, I began my own flock and now am the mother of 9 and grandmother Tuki to 16 with 3 more due this year. I have counseled with many women who did not grow up in the same way and have expressed to me their desire to find their flock now.
Flock wisdom keeps balance, adds insight, comforts and consoles. When I gave birth to my 8th baby, a beautiful little girl who never cried, I was surrounded by a flock of women who had similar experiences of which I had never known about until then. I had felt like I was completely alone in my grief and then these wonderful women who had beautiful stories began to share and I was no longer alone. I was strengthened by them and was comforted to see that they were smiling again. It gave me so much to hold on to.
My favorite daydream is that I would be living in a village where daily walks to the market would yield groceries for the evening meal as well as a little time to meet at the well, or come together to admire each others children, exchange a recipe or give comfort and support. I do feel that our society is separating us from each other and that it is easier to break us as single reeds.
So, I write and I express my love for the women individually and the flock as a whole. I hope that you know that you are not alone and that I am feeling your heart's desire to be honored for who you are, and celebrated.
Happy Birthday to EWE!
:Blog Disclaimer: No men are or will be harmed by this blog. It is not about them. It is not intended to bash them in any way. In fact, I believe that when women are happy and proud of themselves (otherwise known as self-worth), they are more likely to be appreciative of, and show greater love, to the men in their lives.