I’m writing to you in the midst of a wild Portland spring. One day it’s 80 degrees, the next day it’s cold windy sheets of rain. In between, there are moments of glorious rainbow transition.
I’m in transition too: wrapping up the first online round of the Creative Magic Workout, which has been a lovely and fruitful experiment. I’m making plans to retool it a bit and launch it again in the fall. (Registration will open September 12, if you want to sign up).
I’m also preparing my body, mind and soul for the entrance of a new baby into the world (and its exit from my body).
Not gonna lie: I’m scared. And this is different from the last time I had a baby. It’s the fear of the known (or, relatively known) versus fear of the unknown.
Last time, I handled my fear with bravado and denial and blithe ignorance. I went in overconfident and underprepared. And it’s taken me a long time to forgive myself for not knowing what I didn’t know, to see the beauty in how things unfolded as they did, to trust my body and my instincts. Honestly, it took me a long time to forgive nature itself.
I thought my body would know what to do naturally — I thought wanting a “natural birth” would somehow guarantee me a blissful, pain-free experience. And that is not the way it went. (Someday I’ll get around to writing the epic tale of my birth story, because it was beautiful in its own way, medicated and mediated and messy as it was).
This time, I’m approaching the prospect of childbirth with more wariness. The way you might approach a wild grizzly you happened upon in the woods. It’s natural, sure. And it also might claw your face off.
I went on an imagination walk with my son the other day, and we happened upon this sign:
The funny thing is, I read it as: “Take time to listen to the chaos of nature: it is the music of life itself.”
Either way — chaos or chorus — I love the reminder.
In the years since I gave birth to my son, I’ve learned a lot. I’ve accepted the parts of myself that I used to reject as flaky and soft and inconsistent and weak; I’ve reclaimed them as the strengths of spontaneity, empathy, improvisation and vulnerability. I’ve created a new world for myself, a beloved community that comforts and calls me out, that reflects what I value and shows me what is true.
I’ve forgiven nature her fierceness, her brutality, her dramatic swings. They don’t negate her chorus of calm and loving care. They exist alongside it.
Thank you for being on this journey with me, friends. I will probably be off the radar for the next few months while I adjust to new life. I’m excited to see what I learn while I’m down in the dirt of newborn baby bootcamp, and to return to you in the fall with some hard-won insight.
Until then, I wish you kindness and good fortune on the chaotic chorus of your creative journey.