Chickadees woke me
Every year this happens!
Instantly, I'm drawn back
to the Spring of 1987.
...I'm walking barefoot through the woods,
six months pregnant with my daughter.
We're on our way to the lagoon.
The chickadees are singing
in the trees around us.
They're calling to each other,
singing for joy
as they announce
Cheery and sweet,
their Spring song
The Chickadee's song
is my daughter's song.
Does your baby have a song yet?
You will hear it.
How will you know?
Is it a bird's song....
or the song of the river
or the sea?
May your baby's song
bring you smiles
for many years to come.
Pooh Bear Puppy came trotting across the room with a
new scarf loosely tied around his neck.
My daughter Maria and son-in-law Marty love to dress him up…
Patriot’s jerseys, reindeer suits, sailor hats,
a sweater or coat for every season….
He’s our well loved canine fashion icon!
“Cute scarf,” I said as he pranced by.
Light blue with white words on it..
Adorable. He’s ready for a week of boating.
We’ve all just arrived in Florida for the holidays.
“Mom, the scarf doesn’t say Ships Ahoy!”
Maria said laughing.
I picked Bear up.
“Oh, I see...it says...It’s a boy…very cute.
He is a boy.”
Marty joined in Maria’s laughter…..
Maria placed her hands on her belly.
“It’s a boy!”
Tears of joy are still flowing….
A new generation begins!
In a quiet corner of a Montessori preschool classroom,
is a small table covered by a beautiful cloth.
On the table is a book called The Peace Rose by Alicia Jewell.
Next to the book is a clear vase with a
long stemmed pink rose in it.
When two children have a conflict or disagreement,
one of them will go and get the Peace Rose.
They stand or sit facing each other.
Each child in turn will hold the rose and share.
Here’s an example:
Friend #1: “I felt sad when you didn’t choose me to eat lunch with you.”
Friend #2: “I’m sorry. Would you like to have lunch together tomorrow?”
Friend #1: “Yes!”
Both children then place a hand on the stem of the rose.
They look into each other’s eyes:
End of conflict.
This simple ritual reverberates outward.
Is this not the essence of democracy?
What's your tipping point?
Your toddler knocking over the cat litter?
Your preschoolers or school aged children arguing over legos?
Your teenagers leaving the kitchen a mess?
Your young adult children turning night into day?
The irreverent treatment of people, animals, the earth?
As women, we’ve culturally and historically been taught to
suppress our emotions...Especially ANGER!
Instead, we turn anger toward ourselves, which can result in headaches,
depression, shoulder pain, teeth grinding, backaches….
Does this sound familiar?
Even then, we often choose to suffer
because we don’t make the connection.
At the other end of the spectrum is exploding through words we later regret.
So...What do we do with anger?
First, we can understand it as a healthy response and emotion.
Second, try THIS!
A roar comes from the belly. It’s LOW & DEEP.
Where to roar?
In a field, the woods, the backyard, the shower..anywhere…..
You might get some funny looks from your kids or partner...or maybe they’ll join you in a wild lion’s chorus!
Roaring releases anger in a healthy way.
It doesn’t hurt anyone.
And very often...it turns to laughter!
A ROAR a day
keeps the aches & pains
“A recluse is a person who lives a solitary life
and tends to avoid other people.”
No doubt, reclusive people have had an
unfavorable reputation over the years,
often referred to as:
mysterious, eclectic, even sinister….
Are we all becoming recluses?
If so, how can we reimagine this experience?
First, let’s look at 5 signs of reclusive living:
1. You’re beginning to speak in meows and barks
2. Hugging trees has become a priority
3. You’ve named the wild rabbits that hop
through your yard..
4. The UPS truck has become the new “Santa”
5. You’d prefer to stay home
If you can relate to even one of the 5 signs,
you’re on your way to becoming a recluse!
No need to despair!
Now is the best part...
We get to reimagine the recluse!
A recluse is NOW a:
I’m sitting in the backseat of my car.
Journals and books are spread out next to me....
I have ample room to stretch and time to write.
My sons are in the front. Aaron is driving, Noah is next to him.
For many years I was in the driver’s seat, they were in the back.
Now they’re driving me!
They’re chatting about sports, sharing the latest baseball news….
What will sports be like without fans? Better than nothing, they both agree.
This is time out of time.
Here we are. In the midst of COVID-19.
Aaron is on his way back to Boston after an especially delightful week at home.
The added gift was celebrating Aaron’s birthday with him!
It’s not easy to let him go.
It’s been six months since we were together last-pre COVID days.
I’m doing my best to stay present,
to breathe long and slow and trust that we’ll be together again soon.
There’s plenty to keep me right in the present moment!
“Would you please slow down a bit?” I ask.
“Mom, don’t be a backseat driver! We’ve got this!” says Aaron.
Mom in the backseat.
Some moments are easier than others.
It’s a whole new world back here!
Where my trust lands is in love.
Because it’s real.
The love between mother and sons, the love between brothers.
The love that brings laughter and smiles, honesty and forgiveness.
The love that brings vulnerability
and tears of gratitude for this moment,
for this journey….
Where do you go to see the moon?
Is there an east facing window in your home where you can watch the moon rise?
Do you awaken during the night and bathe in moonlight?
How does the moon’s light affect you?
I’m fortunate to live in a home with a wide open expanse of sky.
In fact, when we were looking for a new home, two of my top priorities were these:
...to see the sun rise in the morning and the moon rise at night...
Several years ago, I rented an apartment in New York for a week
while attending a teacher-training.
Living in a fifth floor walk-up was quite a contrast to my country lifestyle!
I felt disconnected from nature and disoriented.
One night, half way through the week, I looked out the tiny apartment window and there,
above the wires and window box air conditioners…... was the moon!
I immediately felt at home.
No matter where you are or what life circumstances
you’re navigating personally or collectively, the moon rises….
providing a guiding light in a world of change.
“I see the moon and the moon sees me.
God bless the moon and God bless me.”
“Mom, I’m used to doing my own thing,”
(I get it)
“I can’t live on lettuce, I’m not a rabbit!”
( I’m partial to rabbit food)
“This town is boring.”
“I’m hungry. There’s nothing to eat.”
(We just went shopping yesterday.)
“I miss the dining hall.”
(That’s quite an act to follow!)
“I’m going out in the yard to play golf.”
“I don’t even play golf but it’s something to do.”
“Where are you going?”
(Down to the pond to listen to the frogs)
“I need a haircut.”
(I can offer you a hairbrush?)
“My professors are so tech challenged.”
“I think I’ll go climb a tree.”
“Mom, what’s for dinner?”
“Where can I give birth safely?”
Across Planet Earth women are asking this question right now.
The most carefully designed birth plans are “up in the air” as COVID-19’s sweep
brings change to every aspect of our lives.
As a Childbirth Educator, I strongly encourage every woman to
listen to her powerful intuition to guide her in choosing
How and Where to give birth.
The same question I frequently ask, holds true now:
“Where do you feel safe?”
What exactly does this mean?
Do you like the smells?
Are the sounds pleasing to you?
Does the lighting help you relax?
Do you trust your birth team?
Do you feel respected?
In short, the same conditions you create to make love
are the same conditions needed
to give birth.
The options are fewer now.
Pregnant mamas have recently been sharing with me
that they feel safest quarantined at home.
Might giving birth at home be a reasonable choice?
5 Reasons to Choose HOMEBIRTH
1. Physical safety
Giving birth at home minimizes over exposure to
viruses and bacteria.
You have control over the cleanliness of your home,
who enters and who doesn’t.
In your home, the environmental flora is familiar.
The only people entering your safe and protected space
are the midwives (usually two).
2. Emotional safety
Pandemic fear and panic have become common talk.
This is an impossible situation to give birth in.
Fear, in fact, stops the birthing process.
At home, you can protect yourself from the media
and prepare a sacred birthing space that
promotes peace and relaxation.
3. Home is where the heart is
In the home you and your partner have created,
Love and well being hormones
can flow more easily, naturally supporting the birthing process.
You can design your birthing space!
Use your favorite colors, scents, sounds and comfort tools like
the shower and bathtub and/or birthing tub!
Where there is pleasure, pain diminishes.
4. Professional Homebirth MIdwives are highly skilled
Homebirth midwives have a profound trust in birth as a natural process.
Surrounding yourself with birth attendants who trust in your ability to give birth
allows for a supportive and empowering experience.
They are also well trained in effectively responding to any emergency situations,
in the rare case that one might arise.
5. Freedom of Movement
This is one of the biggest reasons to consider birthing at home!
As we know, the human birth canal is not a straight chute.
A baby has to twist and turn to navigate the journey of birth.
Walking, dancing, climbing stairs and gardening
help ease labor tremendously and move your baby into a
favorable birthing position naturally.
At home you are free to follow your rhythms and needs...
to move...to rest...to drink...to eat….in order to stay strong, balanced,
and enjoy giving birth!
The forest is calling me.
Stepping in, I’m already flooded with joy.
Life is simple amongst the trees.
Alive. Evolving. Peaceful.
Modern civilization struggles to learn
what trees already know.
How to share resources and
care for each other
How to trust the cycle of life
Skunk cabbage pushes its purpley folded leaves up through the earth
Peepers awaken the ponds
White snowdrops are blooming!
Life goes on here
The whole forest is singing!