crowning

for denice, kristen, elaine, cheri, and ginny

here I am,

in this new place, ushered across the threshold by waves of unstoppable, undeniable urgencies as powerful and instinctive as if they were labor pains.

here I am,

in this new place, resting in my bed, where a widely girthed grandmother tree sentinels the window at my head, even as she sentinels the slender ones who weave their way to grace alongside her, even as she sentinels the thicket of sun-gathering, blossoming ones at her feet.

here I am,

in this new place, seeing myself as something new, great earth mama offering her fullness, roundness, ripeness for her lover to burrow himself into, opening wide, gathering in.

here I am

in this new place, surrounded by my sisters here as surely as I was when they led me to those moonlit, birthing waters, entered into that sacred time and space with me, midwifed me, laid this infant-me at my breast, implored the placenta from me.

oh, that great final push, following those long hard days of august, of pushing through days and nights of fatigue, through waters breaking to flood the earth beneath me, my sisters arriving like these wise old oaks to rain their abundance upon the roof that shelters this sacred bed.

they sang to me songs, of perfect ripeness, of readiness to be plucked from the vine, of time to let go, to push forth, to become something new, of round, ripe heads crowning—my head, their heads, crowned with diamonds in the passage of croning.

that great final push, through exhaustion, into the great birthing of autumn… I hadn’t before realized how utterly draining is this perennial transition, but, of course!, look at the way the vine is so spent in ripening the pumpkin, the sun-gathering green of the trees used up in nut-ripening before the beauty of what lies beneath is revealed. when i left that place, I too was spent, in a way I can only relate to the complete exhaustion of childbirth, an utter fatigue, an emptiness, where there is room made only for mystery and wonder and awe…. and deep, restorative sleep.

i am here,

this morning, awake, at last, and in love, amazed at how restored i feel— restored to myself, restored to wholeness, seen and fed by those amazing women, tended with the balms and the teas of our sharing….

this sacred passage together.

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