Arriving by His Own Clock

3069117598_bcdf8ac99f1Caleb James Dalgas 825am November 29th, 2008

This dear soul, my first nephew, and his parents taught me much about the power of present moment living in the weeks we shared.

I was reminded that beginnings – and all that falls within time’s realm – are not within our control. Try as we may to manage circumstance, all things come in their own time. It is how we spend that time that matters. It is how we breathe into the unknown which determines our ‘fate’.

Watching a woman wade through pain and uncertainty, holding her core truth in the midst of exhaustion, and embracing the changes happening within her but beyond her control… I grew up a little more. I felt a little stronger in my own core. I wanted more for myself and felt just a bit more confident that I deserved those things my heart desires. Caleb and his mother gave me that. And his father showed me, once again, that Love will always be there to help me cover the distance between here and there.

Thank you, Geoff, Jennie, and Caleb James. I love you so.

Friends Make Change Easier

dsc_2295web3Sharing Kiya’s bloody lip ice pack

dsc_2297web4Kisses make booboos feel better

This last Halloween, Kiya’s friend Ruthie shared her extra fairy costume so they could both dress up for gym class. It’s a tiny tumblers for people 1.5 – 3 years old where little ones can run around and check out the gymnastic world. Ruthie loves it and sometimes Kiya does, too. They both really dig the trampoline!

These two photos remind me of how much each of them has changed in the last 10 months, and how much they’ve been through together: a dozen teeth, bumps, bruises, stolen toys and treats, endless disappointments from not getting what they want, missed naps, sun in the eyes on car rides, grumpy mommies, withheld breastfeeding moments, and so on. It’s hard being a small person, but it’s a lot easier and a lot more fun, too, with friends.

And that’s just one more gift Kiya and her friends have given me: community. We’re not alone on this human trip, even in our loneliest moments, and I’m so grateful for the loving wisdom and unexpected patience of friends.

When She’s Breathing

My sweet friend, Jennie, is resting now, breathing through contractions that come about 8-10 minutes apart. As her time to birth her child draws nearer, my own heart opens and softens to the Great Mystery that new life unfolds. Tears come, sorrow and joy fill my lungs, my nerves release excitement, fear, hope, expectation, all of these in waves of their own. Up and down. In and out. Over and over again in the part of life where there are no beginnings and nothing ever ends. It just keeps going.

We fear this open-endedness, most of us, but nowhere else is there found such abundant resolve, compassion, strength, love, and freedom. Such spaciousness. Because there’s no Where to go, no When to arrive, no How to do it correctly, and no Why to answer or explain. Everything just Is. It just is. We are just Here. Right now. Breathing. Being whatever, whomever, wherever we are. No one can solve or escape anything because nothing is wrong.

Jennie is so blessed to be in this realm, at home in the safe space she and her partner have created. She is so strong and so soft. It is Beauty beyond all that can be written. She is in the Wonder World where the midwives dwell. And I am so lucky to be here. Thank you, Jennie.

Our journeys are different, each woman and their child, and somehow, miraculously the same Universal trip. It brings my heart to gratitude for my own midwife and Midwives all. Below is a poem inspired by my own path with Kiya. I hope it gives a glimpse into the magic I’m blessed to witness now with this family.

“To My Midwife”

It’s just days away;
my baby’s first birthday.

To think, a year ago
we were on our way,
you and me and she and he,
to that magical Birthing Place

where caves of mothers-to-be
sing and laugh and cry and breathe.
And the Little Ones, pushing and turning,
make their brave way into Being.

And you and yours hold the space
for moms and dads and babes alike
as we find the rhythm and claim our place
among the Mothers, Fathers and Children of life.

Midwife, you nurture our wee ones
from belly and womb to the soft lit rooms
where you cradle their bodies with gentle hands,
bringing Ancient Mystery to our Everyday Lands.

But soon again, the Call becomes strong.
Then off you go from New Mother cove
following sounds of the next Birthing Song
and making your way down Midwifery Road.

So, now, as my Little One’s birthday arrives
I take a few moments while she sleeps
to feel again the magic of Birthing Time
still flowing through her and he and me.

I find myself grateful and a bit tearful, too.
For hello to my daughter meant goodbye to you.
But, I hold our journey in my heart – and try in my way –
to bring a little Midwifery Magic into her Everyday.

In the Waiting Time

We’re here in Corvallis with Jennie & Geoff awaiting the arrival of little bug Dalgas, their first child. Jennie’s belly looks full and beautiful, the rain comes and goes, trading places with snippets of sun and sheets of misty skies. It’s tranquil and lovely.

Meanwhile, Rock Band has established itself in the living room, leading Rob & Geoffrey on tour across Europe. Last night, Kiya finally realized she could join the guys and took up the bass. Here’s Jennie’s video clip of The Bibble Rockers on stage!


Airport Security and Impeaching the President

I shed tears of relief at the sight of Barak Obama’s landslide victory on television earlier this month. We joined a crowd at the Jester, a local pub, to watch the speeches; and even though it was Dennis Kucinich who gave me faith in the process again, I allowed myself to commit to the Obama campaign and prayed that change would be more than a tag line. Indeed, I hope it is. While the year to come seems lined with possibility – or perhaps because it does – I find our current social and political situation all that harder to take. I still feel a certain shame upon America, one earned in part by each of us.

This shame has a cure on many levels, through action. Proper, constructive, corrective action we can take as a society. In fact, every step we take to clear this haze of fear and rage that have blanketed our country since 911 will help heal the wounds of our shame.

There are two Immediate changes I want to see: Impeachment and Reduced Airport Security. Below is from my last petition to Congress seeking its support in impeachment proceedings:

Congress members, please consider my 17 month old daughter and her life as an American citizen. She needs her political servants to be examples of integrity and high moral fiber. Please show her that you are here to serve the people of her country and that you have the courage to bring criminals to justice, that our leaders are subject to the same laws as the rest of us. Let your actions be an example to my child of leadership she can be proud to follow, not be ashamed of. Are we brave or are we cowards? Why are we afraid to hold our leaders accountable? Are we ashamed to know we’ve stood by and let them betray their people? Are we afraid to see that we all have a hand in this crime of greed? We can change for the better. Today. I believe in you.

As for airport security, our last trip through LAX turned me red with shame. Behind us in line was a pale, gray haired woman in her late seventies or early eighties who was just hanging up with her family member as we entered the ‘take your shoes, shirts, socks, belts, bras, sweaters, and fake eyelashes’ place in line. It was obvious she rarely traveled and had little idea how to navigate the tragifactory of airport security. I turned back as Rob & I removed our shoes to find her looking a bit confused and asked if she needed help taking off her shoes. She smiled sheepishly, saying “I can barely walk.” Achingly frustrated, I asked the attendant if she really needed to. “Everyone has to,” he told me.

So, I bent and removed her bright, clean, shiny white tennis shoes then replaced them afterwards tying them “very loosely” at her request to protect her sore, swollen feet. I blushed in shame and anger that this elder should be subject to such !@$@##%% in the name of National Security.

Muttering in disgust, I stalled a bit while collecting my belongings (a bit passive-aggressive and pathetically ineffective, but it felt good). Just then, I saw another agent directing a young wheel-chaired woman off to one of the “check ’em again, Sam” booths! Anyone with one eye could see that she was handicapped, not a terrorist. All I could do was look toward the Managing TSA Agent, who had also watched the woman escorted behind the Plexiglass Curtain, and exchange a look of shared shame.

No amount of travel or information could effectively desensitize me to this phenomenon. When we’ve become so run by Xenophobia that we don’t hesitate to suspect our handicapped and elderly citizens because they, too, might be ‘one of them trying to get us’, we America, have sunk to a new low.

I hope greatly that the next four years will see a change in us. A rise in our courage, a reduction in our fear, a grounding support in our local economies, and an increase in our willingness and action toward innovative, sustainable products. I feel Hope. I feel present and ready to make changes in my own attitudes and behavior in order to be part of the solution. An example of a solution. I look forward to being an Average American in that way.

From the Old Blog

Saturday, May 24, 2008

A New Chapter

We moved last week. Our new home feels as full of Love as the last was with Struggle and Transition. We will undoubtedly thrive here, even amidst life’s inevitable changes.

And, the yard is incredible. A perfect place for a wedding.

Our busy schedules have already resumed though, leaving us to tackle the garage full of boxes in small pieces. There is so much history, most of it not really worth keeping. It’s hard for me to be present and positive sometimes. The experience leaves me at my edge a little too often these days. My perfectionistic inner critic has shown its familiar colors and my system’s worn down under the moment-to-moment stress of feeling I need to know what to do about everything all the time. I’ve been particularly thankful to my household lately for continuing to show me new ways of living and loving – from arranging furniture to resolving conflicts. It’s a blessed feeling.

As artwork is mounted on the walls and the dishwasher’s quirks are realized, we settle in. New sounds fill our ears. Strange little creatures like sticky fingered green frogs and red beetles wander through, letting us know we’ve entered a land already occupied. We are the newcomers here, left to adjust and make a space for ourselves.

Overall, I’m grateful to be in the Unfolding place again so soon. Each day gives me speckled memories of my first months with Kiya with everything full of potential, nothing tainted by bad feelings or unmet expectations. It’s the slow rhythm of fresh roots finding home in fertile soil, reaching for safety and sunlight with each breath.

A new life is blossoming here for all of us and I’m thrilled to see the many ways our Gifts and Dreams will be realized.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


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Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Honor and Charge of the Mother

It’s easy at my age (36.9) to be pretty attached to having life on my terms and at my pace. I’ve gotten too much in the habit of grabbing control when I’m scared instead of letting go and slowing my pace until I meet life on “the level.” Having a little one to guide me with their gentle, wandering rhythm is the best thing that’s happened to my world. My daughter has been, consciously or not, leading the way from the beginning of our relationship. Without her direction, I would be lost in darkness, with no clue how to guide her through this life. It is the ultimate dance of intimacy, as far as I can see. Divinity works more clearly through my child than through anybody. I only have to look into her eyes and see the way she sees, then touch the way she does, and turn my head just as hers does, to find the world is still new.

Kiya’s soul has been communicating with me since about 9 weeks into my pregnancy. Her first definitive message came one afternoon just before I met with my massage client. I had just prepared my table with fresh sheets and was feeling nauseous as usual. Trying to have faith in the process, I’d been consciously avoiding asking Spirit any questions about the baby growing inside my body. But, curiosity and anxiety won out and, looking in mirror on my studio wall, I asked for a sign that things were going alright with the little one.

Suddenly, an overwhelming wave plowed me under and I found myself running for the door, hoping to get outside before the inevitable projectile vomiting covered the clean sheets with chewed up eggs and toast. A few minutes later, stumbling back into the studio, I heard a clear, genderless voice say to me, “Mother, please don’t ask me to assert my presence too often. It causes you pain.” Like a child to a parent, I responded with swollen face and watering eyes, “Okay. I’m sorry, I just got too curious.”

After that, I did my best to hold off, leaving most of the questions for my dream life, where I often saw a child who looked exactly like my daughter (only older) smiling at me, assuring me everything was, and would be, fine.

Tonight, I found myself reflecting on the families in my circle and how, by varying degrees, the fathers have become intimate caretakers for these little children while we women struggle to be present without losing ourselves completely to the roles we fear or suspect our predecessers have done for many generations. We want to connect deeply with our children, but fulfill our “missions” too, at the same time. It can be a tricky mess. I so badly want to do right by my daughter and also, by myself, if for no other reason than to lead by example.

But, leadership involves sacrifice. It’s not a message we like to hear. And, when we give earnestly of ourselves, taking on the duty that is ours and our birthright, we become Grown Women. We become stronger, healthier versions of ourselves. We become brighter lights for our daughters.

As she & I lay together tonight, I received another reminder from the beautiful soul that has come to live here as Kiya. She drifted off to sleep after a long day of picnics and errands under the glow of her little fairy night light, and I heard these words: “You are my Mother. You are to be there when I need you. For now, I need you above all else and like no other, for you are my Mother.” And, with that simple guidance, I felt the truth in my bones of what it is for me to be a mother.

It is the honor and charge of the mother to be there. To be there, arms to hold, tears to wipe, breasts to share, eyes to reassure and smile in the times when there are no words to explain and nothing to completely relieve the pain of life.

Right now, that may seem like a lot. Too much at times. But, what greater honor could ever come than to be someone’s wholly devoted one? To be completely there when they need you? And just for now. For they will, before long, go out into the world and find many others to meet them in ways you cannot. And someday soon, perhaps, you will feel lucky if they need you at all. You will feel grateful for the ways they appreciate you. You will hope deeply that they will take the time to reach into your life with words and hugs and kisses and touches to your face. You will feel that the sun shines brighter because you mean something to this very special being that is your child.

And so, while Kiya sleeps, I thank her soul and say a prayer to help me remember what an honor it is to be the one “who’s supposed to be there”.

To be inspired…

Nothing but Love really motivates me. I guess that’s why I look for it everywhere, in everything and everyone. The desire to live… love makes that happen for me.

Today is Rob’s 30th birthday. Again and again, he inspires me. To love. To create. To breathe. Thanks, Rob, for our baby girl. Thanks for motivating me.

And, now a word or two from little Kiya Rae….

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