Last week Monday morning found me swinging in a hammock, the pale golden orb of the sun just peeking through the naked branches beyond my feet. My husband pulled up in the bakkie packed with tools, and I climbed in. We were heading to my mother-in-law’s to help with a day of building on her new house. My three-year-old had spent the night with her, and although I felt her absence keenly, it had filled me up with love and patience. I had inspected the spaces I often fill with worry and ‘urgent’ tasks, and swept them clean. With my one love in the seat beside me, I drove towards the other, through fields olive and tan, the evergreen trees shivering softly in the morning light. We picked up staff on the way, and all unloaded at the little house tucked beneath a swath of indigenous forest. I settled on a fallen log and felt the day unfolding crease by crease.
In the hours that followed, collecting treasures such as berries and leaves and flowers with my daughter, building impromptu playgrounds out of planks and bricks, laughing with my husband as we shopped for a group lunch, I sensed something new tingling beneath my skin. For several months I had been gently seeking a rhythm I had lost. I knew, up in my mind, that the life embracing me was beautiful, sacred, and joyful, but it had been some years since I felt that truth beating in my heart, flooding my limbs and leaking through my ribs. Three-year-olds experience bursts of enthusiasm and joy every few minutes. For many adults, these pure moments are spaced out by months. As we ripen into adulthood we often forget how to immerse ourselves in the flow of the universe; we cloud the truth that there is anything more important than taking delight in our passing moments. But in a tent of pine needles, with the water under the rowboat sparking and shimmering like a quickly moving fish, what had been silent in my veins had turned into a pulse. I once again not only knew joy, but felt it too, and as a dear and familiar companion.
What had brought this holy grail within reach of my fingertips? What turn in my quest had brought me here? I had torn through many maps, and blistered my feet on dozens of paths. I had dabbled in the power of magic while poring over The Secret Garden, in which ten-year-old Colin and Mary discover the magic of green growing things. They are healed by the garden, by that which breathes life into it, and weaves together all living things. I had spent six months heading up a group of wild and free children in my very own learning centre. I dismantled my beliefs, put a pause on my knee-jerk reactions, and bit by bit discovered that hardly anything about the world was the way I thought it was. Then I found out about my own little miracle - a new life blossoming deep inside me. He had grown alongside my school, drawing me in to yet another transformation. As he kicked and rolled, triggering waves of nausea through my being, I was forced to reconsider my direction. How many new things could I grow? Which lives was I bound to nurture and curate? I refocused my heart and mind and body from big dreams onto small details, which in the end are where all the magic and learning live. I had to put down my ambition in favor of my values, and let my career morph into yet another form. I trail my fingers over the worktables, linger at the splashes of artwork on the walls and smile at the remnants of projects as I enter the final weeks at my learning centre.
I had committed myself to slow living, and to falling into the flow of the universe no matter my pace. I wanted to see the depth of each moment, and as the winter solstice birthed a new season of beginnings, I felt the power and beauty of second motherhood thrill through me. I am on a journey from the mother of one to the mother of many. My belly rounds and my heart opens, and change swirls around me. But it was only when I picked up a book grown dusty on my shelves that I was reminded of the only sure paths towards my goals. In The Seven Spiritual Laws, Deepak Chopra suggests that whatever I want I should give away to the depths of my soul. In the freedom of giving the flow is truly released. I wondered how much and to whom I should donate some money. Then I read, ‘In fact, the most powerful forms of giving are non-material…When you meet someone, you can silently send them a blessing…This kind of silent giving is very powerful.’
At the supermarket I packed bread and milk and oranges into my trolley for a work-site picnic. My husband pushed it to the front of the store and began to unpack onto the till counter. I took a moment to look at the cashier. Her face was turned down as she passed the items by the scanner. She took no notice of my scrutiny. Silently, I wished her love, joy, and laughter in her life. I took another moment to imagine her laughing a deep-belly head-thrown laugh, the kind that comes without warning and with complete abandonment. When we returned to the little house, my daughter and I explored the games on the deck of the little human-made lake. We rolled around balls on the pool table, and carried checkers and chess pieces to the gigantic board painted onto the planks. It was only on the drive home, when I was wedged between my family, that I connected the love, joy, and laughter effervescing in my soul with my newly formed habit. I didn’t have to fix the world. I didn’t have to develop a sixth sense of seeing. I didn’t have to become anything more than I am. Love, joy, and laughter is enough. For me. For the woman in the supermarket. For my husband and daughter. For all in my life and beyond it. We are riding the current of a big and beautiful river, and while we may never see the sides, or the end of it, we can stretch out our fingers, and feel the silver water dance as it moves us.
This post was sponsored by Colleen of the Midlands House of Healing. For the last five months I have been privileged and pleasured to receive her specialized pregnancy massages. For twenty minutes on each side and then on their backs, she takes mamas becoming to a state of bliss. She provides the nurturing and relaxation so important for pregnant women, whose growing babes feel every feel, and literally draw on the being of their mamas to come into their own. She uses sound and crystals and breathwork alongside the long loving strokes of Kahuna massage, and talks to your almost-born through reiki and pendulum dance. A ritual of monthly visits throughout your pregnancy brings home to your heart and body that this transformation is a spiritual as much as a physical journey. Through the trials and tests of pregnancy you are being softened for motherhood. Entrust your body to one whose hands move gently over your changing form. To book distance healing or a massage session outside Howick, contact Colleen on 084 603 0604.
Hello and welcome:) I am a South African mama who believes in unschooling, mindfulness. and living on purpose. I love traveling, reading, yoga, leading our family business, and eating delicious food in beautiful places. And tea. I love tea. Pour yourself a cup and settle in for a read.