If a baby/gifts/games centered gathering is called a shower then perhaps this warm, nurturing, sensory, love-filled gathering should be called a bath! We bathed the mother (literally her feet) with love, scented oils, symbols, and affirmation. Who wouldn't want that?
|The Circle Opens. Photo by Cara Dahlquist|
We opened the evening with a delicious and nourishing meal, visiting, greeting, uniting and reuniting. We then joined hands and united our intentions to bring Rachel all the love and affirmation we had to offer. That turned out to be a great deal. Joining hands with a friend on one side and a stranger on the other, I was overcome with the feeling that there were no strangers in the room though we didn't all know one another. We shared a beautiful, strong common link: Rachel.
Ties That Bond
Straightening out a symbolically tangled string we joined our wrists together making a giant linked bracelet. We went around the circle sharing our lineage emphasizing small stories about the strong women and men who have made us who we are. There came a special feeling then, as our hearts turned to our ancestors, and I had a delicate impression that they knew we were thinking of them. When the circle had been made we snipped the strings and wound them into matching bracelets which we will wear in solidarity until Rachel has given birth.
|Rachel. Photo by Cara Dahlquist|
Releasing Our Fears
One of the important parts of preparing for a peaceful beautiful birth is mindfulness and releasing fear. Meditation, guided meditation, is a powerful and effective way to achieve a state of awareness and release. We all got comfortable, and allowed the words of our friend Laura to take us on a visualized journey of fear release. Then we made symbolic purging of our fear by casting herbs into the little indoor fire. It was beautiful to watch the faces of the women as each gave away her burden, casting it into oblivion, letting go.
|Sister-Love and Affirmation. Photo by Cara Dahlquist|
We took turns rising from our seats to approach Rachel, giving her the words we had, words that came to us, and sometimes silences that meant even more. Each woman brought a bead or charm to string on a necklace for Rachel to have, wear, and keep. Some beads were hand-carved. Some were bought. All were given in love. I wish I could recall all of the wonderful details, but then, they're not my details to remember. Each offering contained profound love, encouragement, and appreciation for the amazing friend we have in Rachel, and each of us were convinced of her power and her innate ability to be a wonderful mother to her two children. There were many glowing, joyful, damp eyes.
|Symbols, Tokens of Love. Photo by Cara Dahlquist|
|Rachel Talking With Her Baby Girl. Photo by Cara Dahlquist|
Birth Art, Massage, and Lots of Hugs
After we joined hands again, parting, ending the time of deep communication the rest of the evening was spent in loving talk, hand massages, making art, and loving goodbyes.
|Photo by Cara Dahlquist|
As I left the house into the subzero midnight I carried the warmth of the earth, motherhood, and friendship with me in my heart.
More Reading About Blessingways:
The lovely and talented Cara Dahlquist has a beautiful photography business. Check out her blog at dahlquistphotography.blogspot.com