It is white outside. Not the soft veil of mist, nor the rolling waves of fog. Just thick white clouds without relief of blue. It is as if the world has been packed away in cotton wool. From my bed all I can see is this vast nothing. It aches inside me, because I too have been packed away from life. My soul, my essence, my very self. A fresh new reality is settling into my bones, trickling through my veins, seeping from my flesh. My limbs are hollow and my heart stuffed with space. I have been washed away by my new role. Mama of two. Mother to a son. This reality smells soft and feels sweet, but it is also heavy and enveloping. The wide windows of my house wrap around my bed. Only three weeks post-surgery, post-birth, my child and I are nestled deep in our duvet cocoon spotted with sour milk. The large swaths of endless cloud reflect to me my blank-white soul.
When my daughter was born, I grieved for the girl I had been. She stepped into the past the moment my first child was pulled from my womb. Now, flat on my back, my son nuzzling at my breast, I am once more weighed down by rapid transformation. I was the full moon, fertile with potential. I deflated all at once, and lost blood and volume and organ mass and life. I am shot through with hormones but all I can feel is this weight. It is heavy and empty and feels a lot like sadness. But, despite its parallels, this time there is no mourning. I have become mother before. Mama, not maiden, is my name, and I answer readily. I no longer pine for my twenties, when I tore up mountainsides on my motorbike, traversed whole countries on a whim, climbed drainpipes to watch city lights sparkle from rooftops, and whiled away the nighttime hours in East Asian beer gardens. Now I move slower and look deeper. I have been invited to return to the magic place that is childhood, where a beetle can be a wonder, and a plastic airplane the greatest treasure. I befriend dinosaurs and talking rabbits, and am always stocked up on cake mix, balloons and colored candy. I have gained the eyes to see and the heart to feel how life layers upon itself, and stretches out in a delicate web of connections. I am on the adventure of a lifetime, and I need not step outside my home.
Peter Kai Gabriel has nonetheless taken a piece of my heart. My soul has been wrung out by his existence. In the muffled silence of the afternoon, small sounds reach us where we lie. Across the hills, a cow coughs. Just outside the door, a sakabula calls, his long tail hanging down in a ribbon. In the bathroom, water collected in the chimney drips slowly out. Peter coos quietly in his sleep. My thumb rests in the nest made by his curled palm. His legs rest lightly above my belly button (which is concave, dark, and slack). His breath is sweet and his helplessness complete. He owns me. In some way he always will. This little snuffling creature, who once fit below my heart, and now tucks beneath my chin, owns part of my time, my money, my home, my family - my life. And we’ve only just met. I have yet to find out who he is, and my soul is already tethered to his. This knowing has sunk in deep and whole. What before, at my first experience of postpartum healing, I took in in fragments, blurred by fatigue and naivety, has this time around rushed in a torrent through me, and left me whistling hollow. Tomorrow the sun will shine. I will bathe, get dressed, stretch on my yoga mat, and step out beneath a sky blue and arching. But here, now, I leak yellow-white milk stains onto white sheets, wipe spit-up off white newborn vests, bleed ruby droplets onto thick white pads, and stare and stare and stare at the white white sky, heavy and blank and here.
When I was just two weeks postpartum our new family of four climbed carefully into the car, and went to visit Colleen of the Midlands House of Healing. Tender and bleeding, I lay fully dressed on her table as she touched only my feet. It was not a time to fall apart. My life and my family was asking me to dig deep, and the reiki energy that Colleen channelled into my aura as she circled my body filled and strengthened me. It allowed me to confess my own weakness, and see the extent of healing that still lay ahead. It lit up the way, and made cowardice impossible. In all my vulnerability, steeped in the needs of those around me, I was stronger than I had ever been. There were no excuses, and no escape. Colleen’s treatment touched my core.That is the wisdom of reiki energy: it goes where it is needed, to do what must be done. It slides in deep, to a place beyond words, to soothe and heal secret wounds, and brings us in unique ways to what is universal. It wraps us in white, and draws us into color. It quiets the noise, and flushes vigor into silence. It shows us the truth, and gives us the courage to live up to its demands.
To book a session with Colleen, contact her on 084 603 0604.
Hello and welcome:) I am a South African artist and mama who believes in 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.