A couple weeks ago, I had the opportunity to model for a local photographer. If you live in the Denver area and are in need of maternity or newborn pictures, check out Raelene Kerner! She made the shoot fun and had a ton of creative ideas and outfits for the shoot. It’s funny, because if I wasn’t pregnant, there’s no way I’d be taking photos like this and posting them where people could see them! Show my belly & wear shear clothing, are you kidding? Oh, the irony. I’m at my all time heaviest weight, and I feel more confident in my body than I have in my life.
I’m hoping that this confidence will apply to labor as well. As my body has done this amazing thing in growing a life, I hope I can trust it to deliver this baby without the use of most modern interventions or medications. At this point I’m feeling hopeful. At this point I’m more calm than nervous. More ready to see and be a part of this experience. The experience that every mother for thousands of years has known. It’s an initiation of sorts.
Birth is a beginning. A beginning of a new life. A beginning of a new way of living life for A. & I. And though it doesn’t seem like it, this is a season of new beginnings. Without winter–pregnant with its silent possibility, there would be no song of Spring. All this cold and snow juxtaposed with all the festivities of Christmas are an opportunity for a perfect offering.
Historically, it probably didn’t happen in winter. The birth of Jesus. Solstice & the pagan celebrations that accompany it are probably more accurately the reason for the season. Solstice was a time to to celebrate the return of the light, a time of rebirth, a time to meditate on what you would like to bring to light and life in the coming season or year. I’m all for this meditation, this time to bring to light certain qualities in my life, this time to refocus on being a brighter light–regardless of what darkness may be around me.
So on solstice, I took time. I didn’t do my usual 108 sun salutations. But I did yoga. And after, I sat with the stillness of my body and mind. I sat with my child. I sat with all of my hopes and dreams for him. I sat with all of my hopes and dreams for the year ahead. This is the time to give light to what we want to bring to life in our daily round. Simplicity. Gratitude. Beauty. Health. Love. Prayer. Laughter. Joy. Acceptance. Community.
These things bring happiness. Happiness is a kind of holiness. I believe this.
I have no doubt that days will pass when I haven’t had time to shower, and my laundry is in mountains, and even the simple will seem hard with a newborn to care for. But I will accept that. I will accept that life isn’t always the ideal that I dream of in my mind. I will accept, too, that I have always been a dreamer and there is nothing wrong with dreaming. I will welcome the beauty of dreams, along with the beauty of dishes in the sink and a crying baby. I will welcome the beauty of life, that there is life in this time I’m living.
On solstice, I also went to church. A beautiful candlelight service. An evening filled with creativity and compassion. With community and beauty. An evening that brought to life the Spirit that I had been missing this season.
And in this evening, I remembered. This is a time of humble beginnings. My all too human efforts to be the mother I dream of being-humble. A child wrapped in swaddling cloths and laid in a manger-humble. And Holy. Because regardless of when Jesus was actually born, there isn’t a better time than now to realize what his life brought to life:
Love in place of hate.
Forgiveness in place of hurt and anger.
Compassion and empathy in place of judgement.
Service in place of greed.
Peace in place of anxiety.
These are all reasons to celebrate this season. To celebrate this year. To bring to light in my own life.
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas, with lots of love & lots of light,