On a Friday afternoon I sat in the shade of a thatched umbrella in the bright sunshine beside the highway. My baby son rested in my lap, while my husband and daughter chatted about a new game app across the table. In front of me the waitress had placed a sparkling glass of water. It was shaped like an oversized tulip balancing on a too-thin stem. Traffic rumbled past. A light breeze flirted along my arms. My family was happy and occupied, and in this moment of calm I noticed the tiny scene reflected in the bulbous bottom of the water glass. I inhaled deeply. The scent of summer (cut grass, truck fumes, sun-creamed skin, frying onions) simmered in the air. Slowly I let go of the tension generated by grocery shopping, deadlines, business management, and weekend plans, and let myself see the little captured world. I made out the slide and swings and trees. I saw the minuscule cloud puffs floating across a teaspoon of sky. I stilled my thoughts and busyness and urge to control, and allowed myself to dip in to this parallel universe of butterflies and magic things. It whispered a secret into my heart, reminding me that if I was lucky enough to have understanding alight upon my palm, to treat it with lightness and care. To slow my breath and drink in its beauty. Because in the next moment, sure as day, it would take flight, and be lost in a kaleidoscope of color and noise.
The further I walk down the sacred path of mamahood, the more I grow to understand the role I play in my family. Amongst my most important duties are that of guardian of learning and guardian of healing. My children are ideal, natural learners. They are curious, playful, and intuitive. They understand the magic of mystery. In seeking to build for them the best-feathered safest nest I possibly could, I have peered into all sorts of shadowy places. There I have found a deeply-buried creativity, one I gave away many many years ago in order to fit in. Now I am embracing the beginner’s mind, and am learning almost everything anew. Diving in to explore my own curiosity, playfulness, and intuition, I am moving past wounds long-held and well-nurtured. I am reaching for healing.
Learning is a form of healing and healing is a form of learning. Both defy linear rational frames. They fold back in on themselves and spiral back at random intervals. Learning and healing are inextricably woven strands of living. They are beautiful and chaotic. They are messy and uncomfortable. They unfurl softly in quiet, secret places. They stretch out gently in light, open spaces. But they scare easily.
Imagine a seed, buried deep-down soil-safe. It waits dreamily through winter, while above ground all remains silent and still. When spring tickles the earth with gentle fingertips, it opens itself like magic. Still invisible, it sends exploring roots down and a brave bud up. All we see in the ordinary world is that proud green spear, tipping itself toward the brisk bright air. We trust in its growth, as unlikely as it may seem, because we have watched this same magic show play out season after season. We know to dig it out and search for proof of its existence would be to destroy the very thing we seek.
Seeds, learning, and healing happen in secret. When my son was born a few months ago, I spent three nights in hospital recovering from his birth. My healing extended long beyond this time, but those quiet nights in my cloistered hospital ward was a fairytale time. We were alone, my son and I, lying intertwined in a circle of light. The hours moved slowly by, speckled with visits from soft-voiced angels in blue, who touched us gently, and protected our space of healing and love with food, stories, medical care, and cups of tea. One of the greatest adventures of my life gestated in this safe and sacred place.
Secrets have power. Dissected under harsh conditions their magic dissipates, like spiders scuttling for cover. Dishonesty and mystery are not the same kind of secrecy. The secrets I talk of are not wrongdoings hastily concealed, or lies so long lived they have become entities that walk of their own accord. I refer rather to the miraculous unknown coursing unseen through our lives. We come into the world pure and bare, and within a matter of years, construct an understanding of the world so intricate and vast it could not be held within any container yet made by a human hand. And because they are smaller than us, dependent, and their power as yet unclaimed, children have their privacy so frequently abused it is considered normal. We ask them to stand up in front, and show us what they know, or hand out tightly-ruled pages, and demand they dance to tunes of our own devising. We must have proof, of processes as old and as magical as the universe itself. We forget that our children own their own lives, which include secrets and mysteries and delicately flowering perspectives. Grasping the rightfully shadowed and dragging it into the light is a form of thievery. To steal a secret is to steal life-force, and disrupt the sweet unfolding of truth. Ripped out, shaved bare, lined up in rows, the wholeness of truth is shattered. Hands bleeding, we can crawl along and collect the sharp-edged fragments, but the power of the picture is lost forever.
The world of magic things is calling to us. It whispers from upside-down reflections and in the shiver of the trees and the drift of the skies. We would be wise to accept our children’s mysteries, it advises. To accept our own, and in the process embrace the uncharted depths of the universe, of fate, and of destiny. Because that is where the magic lies. Buried deep down, soil-safe, in the unknown.
My children are at the heart of my healing, and my mind is occupied by writings crafted by an audience of thinkers. But in the realm of the body, it is my therapist Colleen who structures my healing. Through both energy work and hands-on massage, she delves into realms unseen, and weaves her own kind of magic. She treats my bones and muscles and memories and spirit with every tool at her disposal: touch, sound, crystals, essential oils, stones, heat, amulets, and laughter. She respects the secrets and pays homage to the sacred. To book a session with Colleen or arrange distance healing call her 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.