Yesterday was one of those satisfying days, a day filled with sunshine, family and celebration. It was a day to celebrate the upcoming wedding of my sister Katie’s son Chris and his fiance Melodi. My other sister Molly and I hosted a bridal shower for Melodi. I love showers…both bridal and baby showers. Yesterday was a blending of both brides and babies, because my daughter Jenny is expecting in September, while my niece Liza is expecting twins in October. There we were, twelve women ranging in age from 22 to 82, spending the afternoon celebrating love and life. Love between Melodi and Chris. Love of the company of women and family. Love of the new life coming into our lives through Jenny and Liza.
As I recollect the day, I realize how important these traditions and rituals are. Marking these moments allows us to spend unhurried time in each other’s company, allows us to slow down and appreciate the life we are blessed to live, and appreciate the presence of life in each other and in our coming together.
Being in the company of 11 other women…daughters, mothers, sisters, nieces and friends…is soul-satisfying. My mother Joan who has been living with cancer, and moving toward healing of heart and soul through the experience, was there, obviously buoyed by the presence of so many women she loves. My mother-in-law, the mother of my late husband Gary, was there as well. These two mothers have been such strong influences in my life. I watched them yesterday, sitting together sharing the latest news, and more importantly, sharing moments of reflection of years past, of moments such as this one with Melodi. They came together through the love that Gary and I found. They came to know each other through the same ritual and tradition that we experienced yesterday, through two people coming together in marriage.
I was taken back thirty-some years, back to my youth when I was the one expectant with love and expectant with life. I was witnessing my mothers and their mothers spend time together. And now, I have moved up a generation. My niece Melodi is expectant with love, expectant with hopes and dreams for the future with Chris. My daughter and niece are expecting babies, expectant with all life will bring in the fall when they hold their babies for the first time.
In the midst of all this expectancy was the beauty of the present moment, the beauty of life and love blossoming, and the beauty of wise women who have lived full years.
I think what captivated me was the simplicity of it all: sharing food, enjoying the beauty of flowers, giving gifts and engaging conversation. Youth and Wisdom. Life and Love. Giving and sharing. We live such busy lives, yet time slowed down with our coming together. I could see that thirty years later, life was still just doing what life does. We were older. Some women have passed, while others were born and had grown into womanhood. But held within it all was a deep thread of continuity. The tradition and ritual brought us together and marked a moment that we could share. As in the way of transition, this ritual moment brought us to the present, allowing us to catch up to and acknowledge where we are in the place of things.
As one of my teachers says, when you forget who and what you are, just stop and be still. Yesterday was a day to do just that. Another way to stop and be still…and be grateful for the life and love that awaits us when we do stop and we are still.
It is one thing to have expectations that life will turn out a certain way. With regard to creativity, expectations can be the death of all things creative. But this is expectancy in a different form. To feel life coming into being, to be so present with all that is here that you feel it pulsing from within, you feel the vibrancy of spirit manifesting in each moment is to savor the nature of all that is. To savor the pregnancy inherent in every moment is to be one with your own creativity, that force of creation that is within all of life. To savor that feminine creativity that resides within your womb, and the womb of creation is to be filled with the wisdom of Sophia, the wisdom of the feminine aspect of life.
So take a moment to feel the immediacy of this moment, the birth that is imminent, that aspect of self that is the Creator creating the moment. Revel in this aspect of the Feminine, and in your own creative capacity as a woman. Yes, we can give birth to babies, and we can give birth to so much more…