Born December 4th, 2014
8 pounds 3ounces
9 days past her estimated due date on my brothers daughter Gabriella’s second birthday.
The expansiveness has returned to this place. Yesterday afternoon the tractors came through and cut down all the corn. I can see the mountains again. I can see the low rolling fog on the empty field. I can see empty space. The void.
Right now a thick gray haze fills in the emptiness. It fills my emptiness as well. I can only see as far as the wall of cornstalks that stood there, but the knowing is what matters most. I know there is empty space there. Room to breathe and move. No more tangle of competition, fighting for sunlight. All skinny at the center held up only by the sheer force of the masses. If any of those stalks stood alone a slight breeze would break them.
Now I can see the big tree that stood hiding in the center. Thick, strong, holding it’s own despite the farmers plea to reap every dollars worth. For some reason it still stands. Like a sentinel. The eagles will return soon and sit high in it’s branches while they watch over my family.
Almost time to build a fire again. Steaming cuppa with honey and cream, lights streaming against the darkness that lingers ever longer, baby’s not far behind. Mornings call for socks and sweaters, roosters crow later and the dew dampens the grass most of the day chilling children’s feet. They mostly put their boots on now. Soon the rains will come for real.
It’s exactly the opposite in Mexico. The monsoon rains have been hammering our roofless house for three months and finally show signs of letting up. The lightning before dawn mixes with twinkling stars signaling sunny skies ahead. Good day for washing. Esta bien para seca! The clothes will dry today.
Today the women are taking out the buckets that catch water from leaking roofs and are as much a fixture in the home as the table and chairs where daily meals are enjoyed. Sometimes with a bucket of rain water as the centerpiece. The sounds of washing replace the steady dripping and the lush ground steams in the morning sun. The opposite of fog. The people are stretching their legs and stepping out to greet the day as we are curling up, making nests and settling in for the long winter.
And me, I’m watching the unchanging wall of fog out my window, thick socks pulled up high. Warmed from the cuppa joe nearly gone now, it’s time to get on with the day. Because for now I’m here, not in Mexico. So much to do still before we get there. This little tribe requires a lot of maintenance… And they are calling me.
Here I am again, same time of year, in the waiting place. Waiting for a baby, waiting for a roof, waiting to move on to what’s been coming for so long… Stillness coupled with furious movement. I am surrendered to the natural pace of those building the next phase of my life. It’s crazy knowing that with all this effort building a house, growing a baby, all I can do is patiently sit by in the waiting place.
I don’t look like those girls on tv, with cowboy boots and daisy dukes, luscious tits and lusty lips, shakin it to the Banda beat just for you… Those girls are not mothers.
Or celebrity moms who bounce back from birth in a day, sporting coordinated camera ready babies as if they were the latest accessory. Always smiling in spite of the unseen postpartum reality that lies just beneath the surface…
I look like me. Round baby belly, thick thighs and silver streaked hair. Baby on my hip that is the perfect cushy seat. Real women, like me, have body hair and I’m not embarrassed enough to shave it all off or pluck it out. I don’t hide my flaws behind make up. I wear my stretch marks and lopsided breasts as badges of strength and courage. And I wear my bikini top and short shorts anyway. Avert your eyes if you must, whisper when I turn away. I don’t look like them and I’m not sorry.
I am not your vision of a perfect woman. Straight out of a music video, immaculate house, short order chef, obedient and at your service always smiling. Some days I may resemble this mamacita, pretty hair, cooking fresh tortillas with my children smiling at my feet… But this is rare. And I do it because I want to not because I’m supposed to.
I wish you could appreciate the true beauty that lies inside me. As I radiate life and creativity. As I see myself. Holding all of the ancient mysteries that ever were, in silence, in reverence, in sacredness.
I am not like those other women. The ones who forgot their power or lost sight of it or gave it away. I hold mine deep where no one can touch it. I remember the earth and her wisdom. I live my own truth despite what’s trending or how I’m supposed to be according to your culture, your family or the many other realities that you deem important. I am not what anyone thinks I should be…
I am not like them, and I’m not sorry.