Trusting the future.

Last night I had a dream about my grandmother. She died when I was very young – around 4 – but nonetheless has had a big impact on my life. In my dream, a big black orb came up from the woods behind my childhood home and was after me. She ushered me indoors and said, “You run, you climb out the window. I’ve got this.”

I climbed out the window, and I saw our family dog Ears. Ears died in December, and I was there when we had to put him down after he was carelessly shot by hunters. He spoke to me as well, which I am sure sounds silly to some because well – he’s a dog, but he told me to follow him into the woods where he knew of somewhere safe.

He led me to the back of the woods and left me there with some kind of beings that he described as forest spirits. They said they needed me to be present so they could fix the machine that makes things work. And I did nothing, just sat and watched while they worked and repaired this broken down machine with a rose tinted light that they bore, and then I woke up.

This dream follows a period of anxiety which has been ushered in by many, many things: the joint problem which I addressed in my last blog post, and some other issues which I do not feel open enough to share but have worn me down quickly. I turn to my mom, my sister, my partner, my midwives, books, the Internet, and anything really, looking for a way to chip away at the anxiety but it doesn’t move.

I think about this dream, and how I was led further and further to a safer place by a person loved that has long passed, by a dog that cannot speak and was taken from us months ago, and by spirits which I cannot see and that some would even scoff at the mere idea or mention of.

I think about the things that carried me to safety, and how I just immediately trusted them even though these are things that are unknown in this world. I realize that my anxiety about being a new mother and a provider is built around this giant fear of the unknown – but what would the end result be if I just trusted it? Would I be carried to peace, to a place where what isn’t working can be repaired?

A few days ago I had messaged one of my dearest and wisest friends Lauren, about the topic of anxiety during pregnancy, and she quoted something she had previously read in a pregnancy book that touched on this issue:

This is the perfect opportunity to touch your own deep emotional truths, to acknowledge and resolve inner disharmonies, and to recreate your life as you create another life. The emotional changes experienced during pregnancy are not to be avoided, but valued; they are cathartic and valid. – Susun Weed, Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year

I have been fighting the anxiety instead of trying to understand it. I hadn’t yet fully embraced the metamorphosis of becoming a mother, and so it became uncomfortable. Another lesson learned. To imbue the future with a sense of joy instead of fear; this is my challenge. And when I understand how to do that, maybe then I will be the matriarch who won’t even have to tell her daughter or granddaughter , “You run, you climb out the window. I’ve got this”. I won’t have to tell her to run because she will already know how to handle uncertainty, because she was raised to trust in the future.

A long way to go, but we’ll get there one day my baby. This I promise you.

The truthiness about growing a fetus.

Right now, if you were to walk into my house you would think that I was re-enacting some kind of Western shootout with myself because the only way to comfortably walk is with my legs bowed like a rhinestone cowboy. While gripping my vagina in pain. I look insane.

Yesterday at work, I noticed some pain occurring in my pelvic region, but I chose to ignore it because I’m shy and I’m not about to start declaring that my pubic bone hurts at the very public desk that I work at. By the time I got home it was worse, and after dinner I called my mother in a frenzy because I couldn’t walk. She calmed me down, which was nice but honestly kind of ended the minute I got off the phone with her. By the end of the night I couldn’t roll over or even adjust my legs without wincing. It was a real treat.

Fast forward to today, and I had to summon my caring and sweet husband home for a few minutes so he could witness what I can only presume was a really attractive and endearing meltdown. We called my midwife and she explained to me what was going on, which is basically this: my pelvic bone has separated too far and if I don’t stop trying to do all the things, it will get worse and I might end up in bed for the rest of the summer.

I am writing about this because no one ever told me that this can happen during pregnancy. No one told me a lot of things, and I’ve had to navigate through a ton of surprises while trying to remain relatively tight-lipped about them because I don’t want to sound like an ungrateful jackass. I am blessed with this baby, and even though I was experiencing a ton of pain last night one of the things I mentioned to Josh was that despite all the illness and bizarre symptoms, I will undoubtedly miss the times when my baby was so close to me and I could feel her moving and kicking and fluttering from within me. I am a nest, and she is my tiny blue bird. Chirping and whittling away the hours with sighs and hiccups. This part is beautiful, the most beautiful, and there isn’t a moment of it that I would wish away from my life.

The thing that I have a problem with, is there seems to be an air of shame around the less beautiful aspects of pregnancy. There are common things that we know about – the morning sickness, the weight gain. But there are other things. Stuff like your pubic bone separating too much and hurting so bad you can’t walk. Stuff like your entire hip giving out while you’re walking down a flight of stairs, out of nowhere and without warning. Stuff like not being able to breathe after climbing a single flight of stairs. Stuff like that. And stuff that’s probably way worse that I haven’t experienced.

There isn’t a problem with experiencing discomfort for the sake of your little unborn baby. What is problematic to me is the lack of discussion around the realness of pregnancy. Why aren’t we normalizing the parts that aren’t cute or beautiful? Why aren’t we sharing more?

Sometimes I feel like women can get caught up in a little machoism of our own when it comes to pregnancy, childbirth and our children. It does not help other women or yourself to cast a facade of being superpregnantlady, or supermom. To only ever share the victories and not the defeats. Brokenness is beautiful. Being vulnerable is what makes us human and relatable. It is in the sharing of our less-than-wonderful moments that we learn from one another.

This is why I chose to write about this today. It’s uncomfortable to discuss the negative at times because it feels like complaining, and no one wants to be that guy. I’m sharing this not to complain, but to say that I made an error that is easily avoidable. Over the past few weeks I was up at 5 am hanging clothes on the line, making breakfasts for my still-sleeping husband, getting out and tilling/weeding/planting the garden, going off to work where I stand on my feet 95 per cent of the time, coming home and cooking dinner, and on my days off of work I was mass cleaning my home. It made me feel good because I felt like I was proving something to myself, something about work ethic. My back was also really really sore throughout these activities, and I didn’t listen to my body when it told me to stop. I tried to master it. Now I am writing this blog post in bed, in a lot of pain, and feeling like a bit of a loser. I tried to be superpregnantlady, and I failed. And this is because absolutely no one can be superpregnantlady. If anyone claims they are, then I would urge you to get your photo taken with that person because she is a mythological creature that should be documented, like Bigfoot.

There is nothing wrong with trying to do a good job, but trying to be perfect is a farce. Our imperfections are what make us real, and trying to snuff them out will only result in SYMPHYSIS PUBIS DYSFUNCTION. It’s a fact for everyone. I know because I’m a pregnant blogger and it happened to me (o;

So, pregnancy isn’t going to automatically going to turn you into a glowing domestic goddess capable of mastering womanhood. This is mostly a reminder to myself, but also to anyone reading this who might be struggling with the same thing. It’s ok to accidentally eat chocolate cake for second lunch and ugly cry once in a while. Let’s admit that more often.

Dream Garden

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Almost each and every time I write about gardening, I connect the act of growing plants back to my identity and experience as a Haudenosaunee woman. My culture is a beautiful one that above all things values a connection with the land. People express their pride and love for their culture in many different ways – whether through art or activism – but for me, it’s gardening. I may not be particularly talented at it at this point in my life, but this is besides the point. The point and the immediate goal in my life is that I am in some way caring for the earth. Right now, taking the lessons from my ancestors and listening to the earth and interacting with it in a way that honours creation is enough. I pay attention to my garden — what it gives in terms of weeds and soil inform me what it can support and what it needs. Whether or not the process is beautiful or perfect or ideal at this point is not really a priority to me. My greatest joy comes from the moments like yesterday, when I’m covered in dirt and the thunder begins to roll in and the rain starts and I work anyway. This is a relationship.

The second prompt from the Grow Write Guild asks me to look into my future and envision my dream garden – and when I first read this prompt a few weeks ago my mind started filling with Pinterest-y images of idyllic gardens – bumbling peonies and stony pathways reminiscent of English fairy tales and organic gardens that look like they were produced with ease and entirely without any sweat or tears. I asked myself if this was my dream — and although these images are inspiring they don’t reflect my aspirations. My dream is to create a garden that my father would recognize and love.

This dream garden embraces the core principles of permaculture which are care of the earth, care of the people, and return of surplus. In my dream garden I do this effectively and well, which is far from how I do things now. I use everything that is produced whether it be in my home or by returning it to the earth to benefit the ecosystem.

If I’m dreaming big, I would grow a food forest. Outside a farm-house somewhere in Brant County. I would know about indigenous plants/medicines, understand their purpose, and they would be my pride and joy.

I would have goats. And ducks.

There would be sweet grass, and swampy areas so that I could hear the frogs sing at night in the summer.

I would use this space to produce food for my family and community.

The beauty of this garden would be naturally occurring and not carefully curated. My dream garden would be my thanksgiving prayer to the Creator.

Today, I plan on planting The Three Sisters which are corn, beans and squash. These three plants are grown by aboriginal people across North America because they are life sustainers. The chemistry of these three plants come together to form ideal growing conditions. They support each other and they are a community. This is a micro example of what kind of ecosystem I dream to create one day whether in my backyard here in Brantford or at the farm that I have dreamed of for the sake of this writing prompt.

To the two people who have read through this whole thing (heh) — what does your garden look like today and what do you dream of it looking like in the future? Share your thoughts <3

Grow Write Guild: My first plant.

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Over a month ago, I wrote an entry about the Grow Write Guild and stated my intention to post two entries in response to the Guild’s prompts. It is now May, and I have posted nothing. I have been in a hormonal dream state for the past several weeks — my mind and time are utterly consumed with the little soul that is in my belly. Days are spent in a haze of belly rubs and drinking in the presence of a man who I have loved as my husband who I am now also loving as the father to my child. There is always time to write later and beyond the space/time that I am so enjoying right now.

In the spirit of getting started however, I thought this particularly grey and quiet morning would be a good time to start my first entry. The first prompt asks us to write about our first plant.

It is hard to remember something like this, because my father and his ancestors are gardeners. The land that I grew up on has been tended to for almost 7 generations, and so plants were always there. I learned this last year as we planted a family garden out at my parents’ home when my father spoke of our grandparents and great grandparents and so forth – what they did, what they grew. One of my relatives (great-grandfather I believe) grew fields upon fields of cucumbers for a pickle company. I thought of him as we planted rows of different vegetables that day, and so it was sort of serendipitous that as the sun set that evening we noticed there was still one tiny seedling that we forgot to plant, which turned out to be a cucumber seedling. It was the last plant to go into the soil that day.

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A very small portion of the harvest from last year’s family garden.

Despite all this, I am not a wonderful gardener. Yet. I lack the work ethic of my dad and our ancestors. When the summer gets ripe and humid I give up. Which is exactly why gardening is so very important to me — I long to master the follow-through. It’s something I have always struggled with personally. Who knows why.

This brings me to my first plant, or at least the first plant I remember vividly. It was a potato plant. It was for a school project in Grade 1, which is why I think I remember it because it was gardening out of context – it was my plant completely and I was responsible for it. I filled a paper egg carton with soil and in each little egg compartment I planted a potato. This part is sort of weird to me because when I plant potatoes now, it’s always with a sprouted seed potato and definitely not true potato seed which I understand from some brief Googling is not very common to do because it is difficult. So when I was 6 years old I was planting potatoes from true seed, which I would never do now because I would kill the potato plant. Yet, when I was a small child, I did it in an egg carton and entered the seedlings into a science fair at school. When the teachers asked me what I was growing, and with a no-nonsense attitude and furrowed brow I simply responded  “SPUDS”, they laughed for some reason. And I didn’t think that growing spuds was the least bit funny – it was serious business and there I was – a gardener just like my dad.

I don’t know what happened to the seedlings afterwards. I don’t remember putting them in our family garden. They were possibly forgotten about after the science fair and thrown out. I think there’s a bigger lesson in this memory though — and it’s to do each thing with the simple and unsullied passion of a child. I didn’t think about how I could have killed the seedlings, how it was deemed as difficult or a waste of time, what I was going to even do with the seedlings afterwards. I just did it. And it worked. As I mentioned, as an adult I lack follow through. And maybe the reason for that is that as adults we expect failure and forget to just take part in the pure joy of doing. The process. The moment. Who knows what other uncommon things could grow from this type of child-like activism. Anything, really.

The Grow Write Guild

This morning I woke up to big, fat, fluffy snowflakes descending onto my garden and the park behind our house. The yard is frozen and stark, and if it weren’t for hot drinks and the wonderful escapism of the Internet I’d be pulling my hair out. I am so anxious to show our backyard some love, and this prolonged Winter is only making the anxiety worse. I just want to smell freshly cut grass. I just want to sleep with the windows open.

Rather than mope about, I decided to clear my plans for the day and do some research for our herb garden and vegetable garden that we are planning this year. I spent the morning bouncing around to all my favourite blogs, which I have now listed on here (see the right hand column for links). They are mostly gardening or homesteading sites, so if you have one of these types of blogs or have any suggestions please share in the comments section!

One of these blogs - You Grow Girl – has recently started a writing prompt series called The Grow Write Guild. This is a creative writing series that anyone can take part in. The prompts are designed to get writers thinking about why they garden, in order to further connect themselves to their gardens and write with more frequency. I already do this from time to time – most of my posts are about nature and relationships – but I thought it would be fun to follow the prompts and connect back to what some of the other participants are writing. Read more about The Grow Write Guild here.

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I am a couple of weeks behind, so there have been two prompts so far that I need to catch up on! The first one asks us to think about our first plant, and the second one encourages us to share what our dream garden might look like.

I’ll be sharing my responses to both prompts this week and I am looking forward to seeing what other people have to say about these things as well! Again if you have a favourite gardening or homesteading blog (including your own!) to share please let me know in the comments section, in Facebook, or in person. 

Indian Cookies

I woke up this morning and our bedroom was filled to the brim with sunlight. This winter has been endless – muddy grey light all of the time, which in turn makes me feel muddy and grey on the inside –  overcast, all of me. But this morning, it felt like Spring and I felt more like myself which meant that it was time to start thinking about things like baking and planning a nursery (can’t wait to elaborate on the latter in another post — decorating is so much fun, especially for your child!)

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Indian Cookies and organic milk from the market!

I did some Googling last night to find a recipe for Indian Cookies but my search was disappointing. After a few minutes I did the proper thing and called my mother. She gave me a recipe that I’d like to credit before sharing, but I can’t because I’d just be saying something like – “This recipe is from our people”. It’s one of those things that is memorized and passed down throughout generations and is modified but generally the same.

These cookies are common on the Rez, and they are usually served at potlucks, community dinners, after longhouse and on No:ia (our New Year celebration for kids — it’s like trick-or-treating but it usually involves home baked goods and it happens during New Year’s Morning). They are soft and scone-like and more-ish. They are spice filled and depending on who makes them, they can be speckled with raisins throughout, walnuts, or just served plain with some jam. They pair lovely with some tea, with your windows open and the Spring air about – preferably with your sisters or aunties, or your Mom and Grandma.

Indian Cookies (modified from my mother’s recipe)

- 1 cup granulated sugar

- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed

- 1 and 1/2 cups of unsalted butter, room temperature

- 3 eggs, room temperature

- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

- 1 cup milk

- 4-6 cups of flour

- 5 teaspoons of baking powder

- 2 teaspoons of nutmeg

- 1 teaspoon cinnamon

- 1 cup of raisins or walnuts (or half a cup of both!)

Cream sugar and butter together in a large bowl (or in a stand mixer if you have one, at medium speed). Whisk eggs and add to sugar/butter mixture, beat until fluffy. Combine milk and vanilla and add these to the sugar/butter mixture next, until all your wet ingredients are mixed together.

In a separate bowl, combine half of the flour with the rest of the dry ingredients and add to the wet ingredients until well mixed. At this point you will want to add your raisins or walnuts until everything is well combined. If your dough is still sticky, add the remaining flour (2-3 cups) and stir until the dough leaves the sides of the bowl.

Knead dough 3 or 4 times till you have a nice ball, then roll out on a floured surface until it is 1/3 of an inch thick. Use a round cookie cutter or mason jar ring to cut out your cookies. Place on a cookie sheet and bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes.

Easy!

I should add that there are some great recipes on the Six Nations Farmers Market website. They have a version of the Indian cookies which you can find here. It didn’t work for me because they use Splenda and I’m not sure how to substitute that with sugar since Splenda is much sweeter, but that recipe could really be ideal for someone else — you never know. There are also recipes for Indian doughnuts, strawberry juice, Three Sisters Soup (which I also have on my blog here), apple stuffing, etc.

Earth Medicine

I remember being four or five, and seeing Queen Anne’s Lace hanging in my Grandmother’s home. I can’t remember what it was for, or who it was for, but I remember knowing it was medicine. Beautiful, delicate clouds of tiny white blooms hanging upside down from the ceiling, moving like chimes when the breeze railed through.

Then there was the filling of sunset-coloured Tupperware with wild berries. The hillsides would be glowing with berries in June. We’d make them into jam, or juice, or fill cakes with them and yes, they were warm and wonderfully sweet but first and foremost they were medicine. Medicine to be used when it appeared to us, to be respected and to be grateful for.

And the whooping-cough in winter, which my parents treated with cherry bark tea. I can still taste it – the healing earthiness of the tea is so vivid in my memory still, though I haven’t had it in years.

And there was the book – “The Magic and Medicine of Plants” – which was published by Reader’s Digest when I was 2 and terrified/mystified me throughout my childhood. The drawings of frail and beautiful plants which could either heal or kill you. I knew some of those plants because they were just outside and the idea of so much medicine at my fingertips overwhelmed me, and still does.

Lately, I feel compelled to know more about this – herbalism, healing. It’s something that has arrived in my psyche as an intense interest, and I want to know everything I can about growing things that could heal my baby or my husband or myself. There is so much to learn about plants, and I am so naive.

I have recently started a “healing garden” board on Pinterest as a starting point. I know I want to nurse the lavender that is already in our yard, add chamomile (which I can enjoy after this baby is here, but not during pregnancy apparently!), peppermint, sage, rosemary and other things. I know I need to be a little more invested in the whole process of gardening – I tend to feel really magnificent and dedicated in the Spring and then in the Summer I watch the garden become hopelessly overrun by weeds while I stand by the kitchen window eating popsicles. I am a terrible gardener, but it is important to keep trying because all of my fondest memories involve plants and I want to do better by those memories and by my relationship with the Creator.

All of this to ask anyone who might be reading – what healing plants do you grow in your yard? What do you use them for? Do you put them into a tea, a salve, into food? Please share with me, on here or in person or on Facebook. Tomorrow is the first day of Spring — let’s talk about plants!

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Chamomile photos from a really pretty blog called Margaret & Joy. Click on photo for link!

On love and magic; for Josh.

Sometime in the fall of 2003, a friend of mine had a photography exhibit opening in Stratford where I was living at the time. There were some bands playing — it was at a bar across the street from my tiny first apartment. One of the bands was called No Orchestra, and my husband Josh Bean was in that band. We didn’t meet that night – but there we were, in the same room passing one another by, totally unaware of the impact that we would have on one another as the years came to fold.

I moved back to Six Nations/Brantford several months after this show. It was a bit of a sad move for various reasons, but one night my brother Daniel took me to The Ford Plant where I soon found myself soothed by music almost every weekend and eventually made friends among the wonderful people there. Josh assisted in running the Ford Plant, but we didn’t talk very much the first couple months of me coming there because I found him to be intimidating and serious and handsome. I was writing regularly in a blog at the time, and I didn’t know that he was reading it. He had been reading it for months, and eventually he began commenting on it, and soon after that we were dating. He told me that there were times that he’d see me at The Ford Plant and the crowd would become a blur and he’d just see me. And my heart sunk, because for a little while before we dated or even really spoke I had dreams of him – very simple ones – dreams of us eating apricots, talking about dinosaurs, or just walking. And I knew that there was something in him, but I was too afraid.

We moved in together a month after we started dating, and for two years after that we bonded and were rarely apart. We danced at shows, got drunk, swam in the river, fought, made up, rode bicycles, cooked meals, and laughed a lot. We got engaged on a country road after leaving the Paris Fair in 2006. We got married in May the next year, and I still remember every moment of that day – the rain that turned to warm sun, the barn where we celebrated, the warm lights and the breeze and us and everyone dancing slow and fast and drunkenly.

Soon after we married, things started changing rapidly. Josh began working on the Brantford Arts Block and I was working full-time at a museum. He worked nights as a cab driver so he could work on the Arts Block during the day and we seldom saw one another. This was the beginning of a really hard time that I don’t like to remember because it makes me feel sick and vulnerable. He was fully invested in a dream so important to him that we became a blur and I was afraid, again, and fear made me act like a spoiled rotten child. I was 22, things were so different then.

It took time and conversation and honesty and continual forgiveness for both of us to heal from our really difficult first year or two of marriage. And though I like to think that we were always the best of friends, if I am being truthful it was only after being tested that I began to understand the depth of our friendship.

Usually it is during the first years of a relationship that you feel most enchanted. And at the beginning of our relationship I felt that being with Josh was so magical – the late nights, wine glow, and naiveté - but something has been stirring in my heart for the past few years that has made me understand that sometimes real magic is cultivated when things are tested, tried, and not-so-new anymore. In the summer, Josh and I went up north to my Grandpa’s house in Dorset. One night, we went for a very late swim. It was cold. We were giggling about how happy we were that it was dark because we are now joyfully plump and look silly in bathing suits. The moon was full, and because it was so cold we had to swim while hugging. A wolf howled across the lake. We grew quiet. I marveled at how utterly spellbound I was by everything in that moment but mostly by him. We broke the silence by laughing at the idea of seeing our dog’s face superimposed on the moon. We walked home – shivering, and familiar, and feeling older than we ever have. But we laughed all the way home. We laughed so loud it echoed up the street.

Love waxes and wanes like the moon. God makes us still and attentive like the presence of an animal so wild it is almost mythical. Things that threaten to make us cold and dark can force us together to create warmth. And laughter keeps us going, from one thing to the next.

I love you Josh. And forever I want to experience this kind of real magic with you – the kind that we find in both rare and ordinary moments. The magic of living, and of the world, and of change. Always.

What things look like from here.

The days are quiet. I am not feeling well — it has morphed from severe nausea, to migraines, to utter and painful exhaustion. My protective instincts are growing. I wake up about three thousand times a night because I read somewhere that sleeping on my back can prevent blood supply to baby. And so I am checking constantly, to the point where my subconscious is poking and prodding me to get up and check every few minutes. Because there is something fragile to protect.

I am not complaining because I know this is part of a process that ends in something beautiful and totally wanted. It’s just speaking it out – sharing it – because sometimes it’s the ugly bits that need to be shared the most that absolutely don’t get shared and then there is a distorted idea of what creation looks like – whether you are making a baby, or a cake, or a poem, or an album, or anything really.

So this is what things look like this week – discombobulated, not conventionally beautiful by any stretch of the imagination, tiresome and soaking in the glory of realness. And yet amidst all this fog I am reminded of one of my favourite things – an excerpt from the Velveteen Rabbit – on love, on being real, and what it all means:

“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

So thank you baby – for making me sleepy, for making me grumpy, for bringing me to a point where I have no choice but to lay down facades and just say that I’m kind of not doing ok. You are making me more and more like the Skin Horse – ever worn and real – and that is one of the million reasons why I love you so.

New life.

I looked out at the bulrush in the fields. In the winter they are like groupings of flags, but with only the slightest of movements because the air is cold and quiet and sleeping. Their stalks imbue a sense of nothingness, and yet hope because spring will come and they will be green again and frogs will croak at their feet. Birds will perch and sing upon the stems. And there will be a community there. Life.

This is outside a window of a building where my first child will be born. I am now three months pregnant and am at the Birthing Centre in Six Nations, which is a few houses down from where I grew up as a child. The midwives are calm. The energy here is calm. And outside is the same landscape where I first experienced wonder, magic, and the earth. This is where my child will first breathe, cry, and sleep in the arms of his or her parents. And it is a beautiful circle, like everything else.

As my baby and I evolve, so does the earth. The snow will melt, the bulrushes will wake, the earth will thaw, grass will sprout, and life will thrive. In the summer there will be abundance. And at the end of it all as we begin harvest for fall and as our autumn nesting begins, our child will be here.

For a couple weeks I was scared. I have been brutally ill, morose, and fearful that I will somehow be a terrible mother or that birth will be too painful and too stressful. But something has happened to me that I wanted to share — and it was inspired by hearing the heartbeat of this little person who is coming — and it is that this is completely natural and destined. The earth becomes fertile and blooms every year without fail. The earth is mother. Women mirror this process and have forever. And I am woman, I am mother, I am inherently able like the land around me.

I am going to be blogging again, regularly I hope. Some days this is all I can do because I’ve been quite ill, so I have to exile myself to my bed for days at time here and there. Blogging is such a blessing – sharing, journaling, mapping out, looking back. I need that now. The therapy and joy of writing it out.

- L