Still at the Center

“For to be a woman is to have interests and duties, raying out in all directions from the central mother- core, like spokes from the hub of a wheel.  The pattern of our lives is essentially circular.  We must be open to all points of the compass: husband, children, friends, home, community; stretched out, exposed, sensitive, like a spider’s web to each breeze that blows, to each call that comes.” Anne Morrow Lindbergh- from Gift from the Sea

A spider's web on my mom's porch

 

I did something really important this Sunday, something I realize I rarely do and probably desperately need to do more of.  I sat down and did nothing!!  My baby played happily at my feet, and I soaked in the sunshine and watched him.  We were on day 9 of my husband being away on business and I had made my fence & a kid size wigwam with the willow left over, I had made some jewelry and posted it on Etsy, cooked food to freeze, gone to see friends, heck I even worked for pay a few times with babe in tow and of course the daily ins and outs of life with baby.  We had done well, accomplished a lot and bonded over our solo time….But we were both a little sick, sleep deprived from being out of our family night rhythm and heck, we were both a bit run down.  It was the feeling of accomplishment along with sheer exhaustion that finally made me sit, and thank god!!  I know that I need it, I know that I want it, but sometimes I have a hard time doing it.

The empty rocker awaits, don't mind the 20lbs of Chard that needs processing!!

Luckily I had planted a few books by the outside rocker just in case I found myself there with the leisure and inkling to read, and low and behold on a Sunday afternoon, I did just that.  Simple, I know, almost silly I realize, but it was a huge gift and what a treasure I came upon.  Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh was what I delved into.  It had been a gift from my mother probably 20 years ago.  She knew I would need it someday and that day had finally come.  It is a small book, easy to throw in the book as one moves around in life.  So it always made the cut, from one book shelf to the next, but had gone unread until this Sunday.

A note from my mom when she gifted me this book, though no date, I know it was a long long time ago.

 

I truly believe you get what you need when you need it, and I knew I needed this book now, as I had pulled it off the shelf weeks ago and planted it next to my rocker….but my what a treasure!!  I am only half way through but I think I underlined half of the book already!  It’s prose- so eloquent, so simple, so true and all written over 50 years ago It amazed me how it speaks so directly to what I am rolling over in my mind, at the close of this first year of motherhood… Life Purpose, Replenishment, Feeding ones spirit, one’s soul as well as one’s family, community and world.  I have been facing questions all mothers face.  These are timeless questions, imperative questions, challenging questions and truly transformative questions.  And so I have begun writing, conversing and digesting what my new life has brought me, who I am now and what I will do with this wild and precious gift of my own becoming and feeling so greatful for the birth of all these things.

In reflecting upon this year I humbly realize, both my child, my husband and I were all born together one year ago, but as our baby grows we too are growing into ourselves as awkwardly and incredibly as our son.  I realize now, with wise women around and timeless words to console these growing pains, I am just now beginning to become the mother I will be continuing to become for the rest of my life.  So I take refugee in my rocker, pick up my gift from my mother, and remind myself to get better at being still as the road ahead is long and winding and my steadiness, my stillness will times be the most valuable and precious tool I have.

“Woman must be still as the axis of a wheel in the midst of her activities; that she must be the pioneer in achieving this stillness, not only for her own salvation, but for the salvation of family life, of society, perhaps even of our civilization.”Anne Morrow Lindbergh- from Gift from the Sea

 

One thought on “Still at the Center

  1. I love your insight about how the parents keep growing into themselves, just as the child grows. And it IS as awkward and beautiful as our child’s growth. Whoa! Can’t wait to get to underlining Anne myself. And I think that rocking chair with the kale should definitely go in your card/calendar series (I decided I want both).

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