BY ALL APPEARANCES, my backpack is stiff with stagnancy. But my absence belies. For all the spiritual journeys and cross-road training I imagined myself on in my 20’s – I now get that it’s all training-wheels. Just as my frequent flier miles have incidentally bumped me to first class this year – so have the mantras and world views accumulated from my travels in the East resurfaced with ready rigor now that I find myself on the razor’s edge of experiential understandings of life and death. Friends, do not play off your travels as youthful whims. The mental muscles and spiritual flexibility exercised and earned will prepare you for the inevitable life asanas that no yogi, no matter how recluse, can escape.
To all those that donate blood and platelets – I want you to know that I think about you. I wonder what your motivations were. Did you once spend nights in ER rooms like me? Watching your father wither in delirious discomfort knowing that the only thing keeping all those terrible hospital monitors beeping is that maroon bag of blood seeping another few weeks of life back into his marrow? I think about you. And I thank you. For the bonus birthday party. For the extra egg-hunt. For one more trip to the beach or the Bonneville dam to watch the spring season of salmon swim up riverbed stairs.
All the while, new life in my belly kicks reminders that he is here, and he wants stories; especially those behind my tears. And so I whisper to him about the cycle of death and life – and of the fairness of it all. My words are as much a comfort to myself as to the spirit that chose me, my body and my path, to ride into this world. He understands, as all those closer to the spirit world do. And he knows, just as he starts turning cartwheels like clockwork when his father walks in the door and immediately makes his mother do the one thing she does better than anything else: laugh. Belly laughs, belly babies, and belly-talking dads, go well together. How grateful I am to this 6-month old spirit for the balance he’s already brought to my life. I had my suspicions, and now I get to learn the fact for myself. It’s easier. Putting others before yourself. Putting the exhaust of self-centeredness to rest. My first lesson in motherhood.
China last week. Oregon this week. Costa Rica next week. And Mexico the following. I thought getting married would slow me down. Then I thought, surely, pregnancy would. I could say baby would – but those would be poor odds, now, wouldn’t they?
Writing is healing for me. It’s also composting, seeding and harvesting for me. It’s spring – and my gardens need tilling. Can’t promise you that I’m not talking about my real gardens and not the metaphorical writing one. But I’ll try my best to attend to both. 😉