6.11.10 (one year ago)
The light is the color of wheat this morning. A dull golden glow, not yet fully committed to the day. Later, it whispers a promise to pulse and blaze with the heat of the desert. Right now the light is present but not yet the living, breathing thing it will become as the sun hits its apex. If light had a sound, this would tease my ears with a low hum, promising intensity to come.
The highway zips by under my wheels; my car set on a course north through city and desert toward the beating heart of a home I know well. There are voices in the backseat. The soft chitter-chatter of littles – not my own – quickly awakened and nestled into carseats. This journey is an important one.
We are all focused north this morning. I feel the others, close by and from afar I close my eyes briefly and see us; tiny pin pricks of light in the vastness, all moving toward the energy which is our source on this morning. We are the lower points on a five pointed star –my dear one, my mama bear, the magic maker far away and me.
Our direct north point is her. Our soft place to fall. She who transforms the act of listening into a sacred gift of kinetic intensity. The asker of questions. Maker of brownies. Holder of space. Weaver of words. Mama to a thousand hearts. Her.
And we arrive. One after another. Entering sacred ground quietly, with soft voices and soulful embrace. We feel it to our core; this house is a living, breathing personification of love. LOVE. And LIFE. It’s beating and flowing through every molecule of air. Through every one of our cells. A palpable experience – as real and solid as the ground under our feet.
We know the honor and privilege and intimate responsibility of this space well. We have been with woman. We have held and rocked and sung harmony for countless birth songs. Our bodies hold the memories of birth from both sides. We know the acrid scent of blood and the salty tang of sweat. Our ears wait for that shift in sounds at the top of a contraction that lets us know pushing is close. Our thighs have ached from supporting a woman for hours as she works her baby closer to this earth. Our own bodies have stretched and open and bled to bring life. Over and over again, we have been here.
But today is different. I catch the eyes of the others, and know we all feel it. We enter the room where she is, in the water. She is a goddess. So beautiful she steals the breath from my chest, and I close my eyes in silent gratitude for this moment. This one. Right here.
She is bathed in light reflected in the water from the turquoise wall behind her. The light is blue and pure and crystalline clear. It is her light. She is there with him, her love. And together they dance that ancient dance together, choreographed by the source and witnessed by the universe and by all of us. Heads together, voices murmuring, bodies shifting, hands grasping. His hands cup her face and his eyes lock with hers as he lifts and grounds her through this. And she lifts and grounds him as well. There is smiling, and laughter and a red lollipop for a dash of sugary strength in a quiet moment.
I am there to document, to record. This is supposed to be my gift to her, but I know that this is really her gift to me. I am awed by the power of my response, by the sacred energy swirling around me, by the LOVE that fills every second. I have rarely been this present. I give thanks.
And the intensity builds quickly now. Her voice rises, her head drops back, her energy shifts. She is doing the work now, the work only she can do. Her mouth opens and she is singing this baby out, singing her third child to earth.
Her song. Her aria. Oh, if only I could tell you how it was to hear this. If only I could encapsulate just a fragment of this into words on this page. For whatever skill or power I may have with words, I am wholly inadequate to the task of capturing the holiness of this. Her song rises and falls. Her voice pleads and promises and welcomes. Words and sounds flow from her from so deep within and so far beyond.
Before this day there have been two experiences that I, even in my cynically agnostic state, recognize as fully and completely divine. Now there is a third. I am humbled, and awed.
My body tingles with the magnificence of this. My eyes are filled with tears. I am holding my camera but my hands are shaking, my heart full to exploding. Even I did not know it could be this beautiful. Tears are rolling down my face; my breath is coming in quiet, ragged gasps. I try to still myself to click the shutter, over and over again – so conscious of how that noise seems to echo intrusively in this sacred chamber. I am overcome. Love. Love. Love – it is all I can see, or hear or feel. It is all there is.
And he is here. Her son. Their son. She clasps him to her chest and sings his welcome. The littles look on, their voices mingle with hers, and his and all of ours. Two sisters with red lollipops and sticky faces. Naked bodies and sleep-matted hair. Just hours before they were nestled in bed in my house and now we are all here. They witnessed this with the rest of us, and though they don’t know it yet, they are changed. We are all forever changed.
I turn to my two closest hearts and we hug as we cry and give thanks and welcome him.
Breakfast is made by loving hands, nourishment for bodies and souls. A family nestles in bed, needs met by those that love them. Only a few short hours have passed, and the world has welcomed a new soul. A family has welcomed a brother and son. We have welcomed and witnessed LOVE.
And we soon leave them to soak in this new life.
And this would be enough. More than enough. But because of the strength of this love, of the spirit of this boy, of the depth of this experience, we gather again in the evening. Our entire families. Mothers and fathers and children and partners. Friends and midwives and family. A communal meal is prepared. Music is played. It is a birth-day celebration unlike any other. It is a reminder of a time and place where birth was at the center of community and the family was the center of birth. It is a gift to each of us present. A reminder of what is possible, of what can be.
Now the light is low and ebbing fast, golden and glimmering inward. It is the glow of hearth and home and family. It is soft and warm and tender. It encircles us and draws us closer until we have formed our own circle. Mother, Father, daughters and precious new son. All those that love them. And as the last hint of light slips beyond the desert horizon we give our blessings, to Lyric and Leigh and Jason. To Kaia and Indigo. To life and love and family. Each one of us in turn welcoming this new being to our world.
And as the sun has fully set, and night falls upon the desert, we leave this space of love and returned to our homes, filled with our own light. Grateful, changed, blessed beyond measure.
Happy Birthday Lyric Haythorn. Happy Birthing-Day Mama Leigh-Leigh.
You forever have my heart.