Gratitude * Sunday
Sunday’s heartfelt tradition.
A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful.
A list of gratitudes, our gratefulness feeds one another.
Quoted from Taryn Wilson
Joining the Gratitude Sunday Tradition at Wooly Moss Roots.
Relief. Rain washes
dust away, freshens air, soil,
sweet earth breaths again.
The older I get the more amazed I am by the human body. When I was a child I was fascinated by babies. The first five years of my existence I watched my mother grow large and then small again producing three more babies, otherwise know as my siblings. Babies were what I knew as that was what Mom, who was my world, was all about at the time.
Mom had a home medical book, sort of like a single volume health encyclopedia, that had information on home remedies, home nursing, home cleanliness, how babies grow inside and outside of the mommy, how babies are delivered into the world, and other things Dr Mom might need to know. The book was large and had a hard green cloth cover; the pictures were hand-drawn, not photographs. She allowed me to “read” that book freely from the time I was very small. I knew what it said before I knew the words.
I knew how babies grew inside from embryo to birth from the drawings in the book. When I was twelve and started asking serious questions after nature started my cycle, Mom got a book from the library and read it to all us children, girls and boys together, so we knew it was serious business this making and having babies. She answered our questions frankly according to our level of understanding. She thought by having the boys present they would learn how important it is to be respectful to women for what they go through every month, for the privacy and modesty of bodies, for the responsibility of parenting. Mom may not have earned a college degree, but she was one of the smartest women I’ve ever known.
The miracles of the human body continue to astound me. When I became pregnant I had to know everything about the biology of the experience which led me back to the library and my own research. The XX (female) combination of chromosomes is far more viable than the XY (male) resulting in a slightly higher number of female babies born overall in this world. It seems to me, then, the male is the more delicate composition, the body more likely to suffer the consequences of conception and living. No wonder they fight harder to be on top.
In fact, we are all anomalies. 75 percent of all conceptions fail. That’s right. If you are here on this planet you are the lucky one quarter of successful conceptions to ripen to live birth. There is not always an answer as to why a conception fails. I would have thought the numbers would be reversed, since our planet has obviously survived and thrived to the tune of 7 billion people alive on our planet today.
My baby sister turned 60 this week. Though I had other relatives, she was the first “other” I knew intimately beside Mom and Dad, the first new one who lived with me and affected all the rest of my days. I’ve known her all her life. Until her arrival I’d had Mom and Dad all to myself; I’d had their focused attention. I don’t remember minding the split in their focus because they shared the new baby with me. I remember thinking of her as my baby.
In a way she was my first baby. I watched as Mom nursed her, and cleaned her, and dressed her, and soothed her. I wanted to hold her like Mom did. Having her in our home made me want a baby of my own. By the age of five I thought that’s what I would grow up to be, the most important person in the world: a mom. It’s what women did. They had babies and took care of them.
Like many women in our modern world I didn’t have my child until I was 38, unlike my mother who had me at the age of 23. My experience was the result of the brutally honest recognition that the hubster was unable to work and I would always be the breadwinner of my family. I wanted the full tilt boogie experience of mothering and that doesn’t happen when you work full-time or more outside the home. But then the anomaly (I’ll be up front and tell you I think these anomalies are miracles) presented itself; I could not deny it. I could not destroy the work of biology creating a new life in my body. My body was fulfilling the production it was created for. I had mentally and emotionally denied all my original desires to create new life until my body finally said, it’s time to step up, we are productive.
I loved the mothering and contentment of having a new baby. I only got to do it once. After the son arrived I threw all caution to the wind desiring all the little ones I had wanted when I was five (life would provide somehow), but alas, too late. My body was done with production. One and done.
I am grateful for the one, the son. He is healthy. He works for a living. He is empathetic and intelligent.
I am grateful for the first one, my sweet baby sister. She is healthy and aging gracefully and still as beautiful as the day she came home to be in my life, though she has more hair and teeth now. She still works for a living. She is intelligent, though when classmates and teachers compared us she was the pretty one (she has a certain charming cuddly cuteness about her) and I was the smart one (always willing to shoot off my mouth). They didn’t know us well enough as I believe we are of equal beauty and intelligence. She has kept the same husband for more than 40 years, and raised two handsome, intelligent sons who work for their livings.
The cycle continues as sister’s oldest son marries late this summer. Nephew and his new wife will hold each other in their arms, breathe together as they sleep side by side sharing their skin and their cells. They will lie together listening to the beating of each other’s hearts. They may create children who will survive the 75 percent cut. They will use and hopefully enjoy their amazing bodies to create one more union and one more family in this universe.
Color Watch – blooming attractions in my neighborhoods this week – I love the intense critter business this time of year, bee action on pink mallow and paler pink roses; an abundance of bright yellow-orange Black-eyed Susans; colorful begonia and coleus flowered entry to University; intensely soft hydrangea blue; sunny yellow squash blossom soon to be food; and shades of pink dahlias.
Currently Reading – Gilead (2004, fiction) by Marilynne Robinson; Moody Bitches: The Truth About the Drugs You’re Taking, The Sleep You’re Missing, The Sex You’re Not Having, and What’s Really Making You Crazy (2015, socioendocrinology) by Julie Holland; Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Hugette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune (2013, history) by Bill Dedman. Yes, concurrently.
This week I have been grateful for:
- Freshening and refreshing rain Saturday morning. It’s been at least 7 weeks since we had rain.
- Rain kissing my hot old skin.
- Happy birdsong after the rain.
- Open doors, the clean smell of rain on dry earth, and frogsong in the evenings.
- My quirky old truck starting every time on my solo shopping tours.
- Calling myself a curmudgeouness and knowing what that means.
- Running into an old boss I haven’t seen for 15 years and having the luxury of 10 minutes to chat and catch up.
- My pool pal recovering slowly from a recent injury and being able to get back into the pool.
- The soothing rhythms of blues music.
- My crazy white hair bothering to go in every direction now.
- Reflecting on getting through menopause naturally without medication as so many women before me and not succumbing to the medicalization of this normal process.
- The technicolor sky show in the last hour of day’s light.
- Enjoying sweet ripe plums from my own tree.
Hoping you have a lovely week.
Namaste. Peace. Blessings.
Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch