my youngest child turns thirteen years old today, on this blood moon lunar eclipse. i’ve always understood the milestones of my children’s lives to also be forms of initiation in my own. we are connected, so that when one of us shifts, so does the other. this truth is known in a particular way when you are mother, and when that child has formed within you, born of you, nursed at your breast…it’s a way of deep, embodied knowing.
today, there is grief, sadness. these feelings still surprise me on days of such celebration. and yet, the celebration marks change and so to welcome the grief and sadness opens up access to even more of the wellspring of joy and gratitude. there is clarity in who she is, and who she becoming individually and apart from me.
i am celebrating her life in this world and all the life that has lived her/us. the impermanence so tender and fresh–this life ever changing us, each moment so precious. she is my baby, always. and no more. this young woman with curves and a moon cycle; big, squinty-eyed grin that brightens the whole room; evolving style all her own; a phone with technologies to express her self to a big, wide world; growing devotion to music and song; her quiet, uncompromising nature, shaped by both fear and truth; compassion that runs deep, as does a willingness to serve.
my prayer for her is that she trust herself. that she honors her own inner knowing and practices her self-expression in ways that move her. that she opens herself to receive abundant love and gives it in return, growing and connecting herself into the web of life that already surrounds her and has been waiting for her. i want her to sing her song boldly and without apology, to offer her gifts to the world with a hunger that sets her on fire. i want her belly to ache from laughing and wailing and to know she is never, ever alone. i want her to know belonging, unconditionally. to feel the wings of her own freedom spread wide, with the wind beneath them lifting her up.
my prayer for my self–this mother-turning-crone–is to honor all i’ve given and received in raising my children. to know the gifts my children are to the world and the gifts our future ones will be. i want to faithfully assume a different place in the chain of life. my children are no longer children. i want to honor the mothering that raised us up–those who have gone before and my own. i want to celebrate my own learning to mother myself and the discovery of all the mothers within me. each child called forth a unique mother self: Kate birthed the fierce, disciplined, sacrificial, forgiving; Thomas cultivated the tender, soft, compassionate, trusting; Meg nourished unconditional love, clarity, devotion, patience. i want to fully encompass, embody all these elements as i move forward in motherhood with wisdom and love.
interestingly, as i step into a different season of motherhood, notice a deepening connection to myself as Mother. i feel more solidly a mother than ever before. like i am joining a communion of mothers, rooted and tall.
this morning, i got some dreamy 1:1 time with my girl on the trails. it was unplanned and divine. there were several messages that came to guide her on the path from the honey locust tree, the Osage Orange, a yellow-jacket hive, fallen leaves along a descending treck, and walking sticks that magically appeared exactly on time. the guidance centered around strength, protection, vision, courage. we collected some of these messages and brought them in for our altar.
then, i picked up my father and we went to vote together, coming back home to have lunch with the birthday girl.
everyday we are alive is a day of birth. today is a soulful reminder of this.