Welcome to my collection of writings...mostly
stories, experiences and opinions that run through my inner stream.
just click on a link to take you to a particular entry...or you can scroll down through each if you like. (Except the birth stories, which are on seperate pages)
Full Moon Babe New Moon Babe
(vaginal birth at a hospital) (vaginal birth at a birth center)
The Walls Are Mine!
Straight ahead in the kitchen, you will see the counter sides adorned with the upper case alphabet and numbers 1 to 20. Masking tape holds up paintings and drawings on the cabinets. Our kitchen table is usually covered with last night's dishes, or today's paintings or leftover play dough crumbs. We are fortunate enough to have a family room too, and it t is also full of childhood treasures. The kids have a "room", and although they don't sleep there, it stores toys and games and a closet full of toys in storage, outgrown clothes, etc. All over the floor everywhere are toys dropped and forgotten in the moment of excitement over something else to pretend or do.
Now I have not yet had a stylishly-decorated or orderly-looking home of my own . The bricks and boards of college years were still part of our decor until I saw them as dangerous to our first aspiring walker. As I underwent the major babyproffing of our household, I saw all of the "me" things go away in boxes. I must admit that it was a little unsettling to see the favorite nick nacks and objects packed away, as if I was packing away my individual self and past memories. Soon afterwards, the vacant spaces became filled once again...this time with a growing boy's toys and creations. And so, the "kid-ness" look began to take form! This was ok to me, as our new life with kids occupied nearly all of my thoughts and plans anyway.
As my son grew older, though, I began to crave my individuality again. As I looked everywhere around our home, I saw the "essence of a small boy"! Then I realized that I had my own space all along! The "me" was really there! I was just looking in the wrong place. Instead of looking down at the toys, I needed to look up...at the walls! "The walls are mine!" I thought one day. The walls are my space in our home! The walls show the whole history of our life together through our many pictures....including family snapshots and nature photographs from our travels. There are also shelves full of books of our interests on the walls, and a shelf that holds our framed wedding invitation and other wedding mementos. There is another shelf that displays a basket of dried roses that a friend gave us when Alan was born, and a shelf holds a photo of each of my children at three months of age, which I love to look at. We have an old keywind clock on the wall above the sofa. I bought t on a whim from a second hand store a few years ago. Summer loves to look at the shiny pendulum go back and forth while she nurses. The "tick tock" is a comforting sound to me.
It isn't just the walls, either. We have two sacred spaces that hold meaningful objects...on the top of the bookshelf in the kitchen and on top of the piano. Also, my grandmother's antique cups are displayed on top of the kitchen cabinets. We have a herb garden in the kitchen...hanging in pots suspended from a piece of pvc pipe in front of the window.
So in this very special time of our family's life...when we have a comfortable and inviting home for everyone in our family, and where our young children have the freedom to grow and learn, I do have my own space. It a place that reminds me of me, and gives me a perspective of where we have been, and where we are now. All I have to do is look at the walls.
copyight November, 2000 by Crunchy
My son was looking at the ground as his father spoke. "Scooters are ridden by bigger kids." My husband began. "It takes the same balance of riding a bike without training wheels to ride a scooter". Alan knew what this meant, as he relied on his training wheels still. Today was his 5th birthday, and he wanted a new set of wheels. "What about the new roller skates we talked about?" Kristy chimed in. As of late, Alan had been cramming his size eleven feet into his little, but beloved size seven skates. "Ok" Alan agreed. "But I want skates, not rollerblades, 'cause the are too hard to skate in." Roller skates it was.
So we all piled in the sooby and went to every store we knew in town in search of rollerskates. Ther were none to be found! Apparantly times had changed since our own childhoods of wearing a skate key around our necks and hearing the scrape of metal wheels on the sidewalk. "What's a skate key?" the pubscent clerks asked us. Sigh. Honestly, I didn't expect to find the first skates of my childhood for our son, but I did think a traditional booted rollerskate in kid's size 12 wasn't to much to ask.
"Everything has gone to inline skates" a salesperson said to us. So we could see. Do you know what else we did see at all of the stores during this search? Yep, you guessed it...scooters!
My son eyed the scooters with admiration. So why did I have this scooter adversion? Could it be that I was refusing to conform to the latest rage in our mainstream culture? Was it because recalls had been issued on scooters this year after many injuries took place?
"Can I just see this one, Mom?" my son asked. He was stroking the sleek metallic paint job of the smallest scooter in the expensive sporting goods store. I took it down from the pegs on the wall. "You are making this worse!" my husband advised. I figured when he lost his balance a few times, the boy's passion for a scooter would cool tll he was older. "Just go down this wide area" I advised him.
My son got a sparkle in his eyes... and proceeded to...ride
effortlessly up and down the store floor! He was magic on that scooter!
He zipped around the store with near-perfect balance! (Nothing fancy, but
he wasn't falling all over the place) I saw the look of trepidation
in My husband's eyes, and the
Honor the Feminine Within
In our modern industrial society, it is difficult to achieve this harmony. We have received messages that we must be outwardly productive every day. We must do our work, even if our bodies tell us to slow down because we are tired, sick, or because our energy is being directed inward during the reflective time of our cycles.
We have been told that menstruation is something we have to "put up with " in order to have the ability to have children. It "gets in the way" of our productivity, and there are various products on the market to alleviate crampng, bloating, and irritability. Not only do we try to ignore our signs to slow down and reflect, we can almost ignore our blood with the use of tampons. We don't even have to see it. We plug up our birth canals, and can remove the plug and dispose of it and our blood without even looking.
Could we be trying so hard to keep up the pace of life that we deny our cycles? I think so. I think that it has happened for so many generations that women today haven't realized that we have this special creative gift. We haven't been taught as young girls to surrender to this cycle, and slow down, lie around, and listen to our intuition when it is available to us.
The ancients celebrated three phases of female life: the maiden, the mother, and the crone. The transition from one phase to another had to do with menstrual flow. A girl becomes a madien at menarche, (onset of periods), later a mother while bearing children or bearing creativity or ideas, and bringing them to fruition. The mother became crone when her menses ceased at menopause.
Each phase of a woman's life was celebrated honored by the society. The celebration of maiden's youth, innocence, and vitality is not new to our society, as many of us try as women to keep our youthful appearance throughout most of our lives.
The miraculous creative force of mother, and her monthly cycles were respected. The menstruating women were allowed solitude to reflect, cry, and be one with the earth. They often let their blood flow onto the earth to feel their connection to the larger cycle of their planetary provider. They returned from their solitude refreshed, renewed, and ready to use ideas that came upon them during this special dark time. Many native cultures today still have this practice, as women go to "moon lodges" for their reflection.
In ancient times, the crone was revered as the wise woman of the society. She was the counselor of the leaders. Her wisdom and experience was valued and sought after. She was "the woman who holds the wise blood inside". (as she no longer menstruated) In ancient wedding ceremonies, not only were the maid and mother honored (as with our modern maid or matron of honor) but the crone was also recognized and represented. The crone is not seen as this way today. Elderly women are not generally valued for their wisdom. Menopause is seen as an end to youth, not as a beginning of a new phase of life.
The denial of our cycles has taken it's toll in our society. For example, many women have intense pain while having their periods. Lara Owen in her book, Her Blood Is Gold, states that a woman's negative attitude toward her periods can be causing her much of her discomfort. For example, feeling that her period is messy, dirty, and inconvenient is a rejection of a part of herself, and is reflected back out as increased discomfort. (I, too, have noticed the difference when my attitude is more positive!)
And what about childbirth? It is often seen as a medical event today....a dangerous situation that has to be continuously monitored. Before the onset of obstetrics and current medical technology, birth was seen more of as a natural event, in which female bodies have the wisdom to birth their babies in their own time, under safe, peaceful conditions. (Obstetrics and technology have their place, but they aren't the only, or even the best choice for a nature-intended birth.)
There is an increasing number of women who are learning about their authentic femininity, and reclaiming a valuable part of themselves. I believe that changing our attitudes about being female is essential to the health and well-being of women and babies specfically, and to the whole society generally.
Here are ways we can honor the feminine in our daily lifes...gleaned from reading I have done:
listen to your body during your moontime. If it tells you to slow down, sleep, cry, etc., honor it's needs
celebrate the beginning of your periods with a special treat to pamper yourself..a soothing cup of tea, some chocolate, etc
tell others what to expect of you. Let them know that although you are trying to be peaceful, you feel turmulous, irritable, etc.
If you don't feel like making meals...then go out to eat. If you feel creative...indulge your creativity
let your blood flow out of your body onto a pad...don't restrict it's flow with a tampon. (using a pad is healthier for your body, too)
Think of the blessed gift of fertility and/or creativity your body has while having your moontime.
give our daughters these positive messages as they approach menarche, and celebrate their first moontimes with quiet joy and appreciation. A small gift of initiation into womanhood may be appropiate. (see resources below for ideas)
give our women approaching menopause the space to grow and transform. Hold an initiation ceremony into the crone years. (see resources for this below)
It would be great if we could all go to a moonlodge for
even a day during our periods to practice the suggestions above, but in
reality we may have only a few minutes a day to do this. That's fine...a
few minutes may be enough to help change our attitudes towards our
bodies and to honor the feminine in us.