Today is my eldest daughter's 21st birthday. It is hard to imagine that it's been 21 years since she exploded into my world and began painting it all the colours of her unique rainbow. Absolutely amazing!
Over the past 21 years I have been gifted with the sacred trust of accompanying her on this journey of life. Of watching over her, guiding her, counselling her, coaching her, and inspiring her to spin her own dreams so that she can hear her wings calling her to fly free of the nest. To leap into the void and soar beyond the limits of her imagination into the amazing beauty of her life's dreams.
In becoming a mother I have learned how to mother my own 'inner' child so that I could let go of my childishness and grow into my beauty. It has been a remarkable journey. And -- it promises to continue to unfold with excitement, joy and the limitless opportunities of life in freedom as my daughter and I continue to journey further and further into our own dream territory. Her life is filled with the limitless possibilities of youth. And mine is filled with the limitless possibilites of being a mother and a woman who has journeyed through the birth canal of her own life into the pure sweet air of freedom to be me!
When I first became a mother, I was terrified. OMG! What if I'm a terrible mother? What if I don't love my own child? What if I drop her? Can't comfort her? Don't know what to do with her? What if I simply do not connect with her?
I needn't have worried. I was blessed. The circle of love that has carried me throughout the ages, from my mother's mother and her mother and her mother before her, forever connected my daughters to me and to our life together from the moment of their conception. In becoming a mother, my daughters became part of the circle of love that cannot be broken, no matter how far it's stretched, no matter how hard it's tested. Even when it appears to be stretched paper thin, to be a delicate strand of air connecting us, the circle of love into which we are born is indestructable because it cannot be broken by human force.
When I first got pregnant with Alexis (whom we called Balthazar while in the womb), I had to undergo abdominal surgery. Because of fears of miscarriage, my doctor ordered me to bed for 3 months. What an amazing gift.
Now, it sounds as though 3 months in bed could be an awful thing to have happen. My life at that point was pretty full. I was travelling across North America, living part time in Toronto and part time here with my daughters' father. I was training for a marathon, climbing and hiking, doing the things that kept my life busy and full. And suddenly I had to go to bed.
It was the first time I really acknowledged that I had a choice in how I experienced life's bumps. Rather than go to bed and be miserable, constantly complaining about my plight, I consciously chose to go to bed and revel in this unexpected gift of quiet time. Time to spend reading, writing, getting to know myself and this precious seed growing within me. Time to relax, to stoke my furnace, to kindle my creativity, and time to sink into the realization that I was, in a few short months, going to become a mother.
That period of bed rest was an amazing time for me. Every day I read and I wrote in my journal. We didn't have TV so fortunately, it wasn't an option! In that period, as my body rested, so did my mind. I began to focus my attention on the miracle happening inside my body -- and I began to fall in love with this soon to be exploding into the world life-force. The real gift of that time, however, was the realization that I had a choice in how I looked at it, how I experienced it, how I accepted it. It was up to me to find the gift and unwrap it.
In life, experiences happen upon us. Sometimes, we feel as if they're thrust upon us by the unseen, and not so kindly, hand of fate. Sometimes, we choose the circumstances believing we're on the right track only to find ourselves lost on what appears to be the road to hell. Regardless of how it happens, it's up to us to turn up for ourselves and chose our path through life's storms.
In ancient times, and perhaps still today, the Japanese would repair a broken vase, or plate or vessel and fill the cracks with gold. They believed that when something's suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful. I am more beautiful because of the lines on my face, the wrinkles around my eyes and in particular, the breaking open of my heart.
A broken heart is an open heart and an open heart is a loving heart. In gathering up the pieces of my heart that have been broken through this journey I've taken in life, I have filled the cracks with gold -- the precious gold of love. Every day I am free to bask in the golden glow of being loved and of loving. Of giving love and receiving love. Of sharing love and embracing love. The love of being part of the miracle of life where it touches the miracle of other lives taking the torturous journey down the birth canal to come into this world and awaken to the pure joy of learning to spin our own dreams so that we can expand our wings and fly freely amidst the beauty of the world around us. And where our wings touch, love explodes around us in rainbow coloured sparkles that shower us with the incredible beauty of life.
Twenty-one years ago, Alexis came into this world and sparked a flame so bright, its light has continued to illuminate my life every moment of her journey. Twenty-one years ago, my heart broke open to an incredible gift more precious than gold. In her birth I experienced the awesome power of love to create miracles in my life. Happy Birthday Alexis!