Having grown up in Baltimore, I remember thinking my mother was absolutely insane for enjoying gardening. I mean, really. Middle of June and already in the 90's at ten a.m. and you're going to spend the morning on your hands and knees pulling up weeds?
And then, I moved to Western NY, lived on the top of a big hill in the Middle of Nowhere, met some really awesome, wonderful organic-growing kinda people and feel in love with dirt.
I spent most of my life believing I was not a gardener, but it turns out, I am.
I have also spent most of my life feeling like the people around me just did not get me. And, ultimately, when "blame" for this was assigned, I always assigned it to myself. Something was wrong with me. There was always something... just... not... quite... well, you know.
While I am certain that everything I have seen and done during my adult life has come together in small increments to finally help me reach a place where I can embrace me and my quirky world-view that seems so at odds with most "mainstream" folk Ive met in my life, I also can safely say that if I had to choose one precise moment when everything came together and crystalized into clarity, for me it would be the moment my daughter was born.
For me, it all came down to power. My belief that I was weak. My knee-jerk response of pushing down of my power the moment it reared its head. My willingness to give up my power in exchange for love.
Had I chosen to give birth to her in a hospital, Im not sure that moment would have held the same weight as it did. That is not to say that the way *I* did it is better than the way someone else did. But, it was definitely the best way for *me*. Let me just say, for the record, that it hurt. A lot. I thought there was no way it would be as horrible as the Pitocin birth I experienced with my son, but it was. It was frightening. Had I been in a hospital, I am certain that I would have succumbed to my fear and pain and gotten an epidural.
A midwife with whom I work says that she believes that women get the labor and birth that they need. For whatever reasons the Universe holds, the labor they experience is a gift. I believe that I needed my second labor to be as painful as the first so that I would find my power. In the midst of the fear and pain, I learned that I could do a really really hard thing. Mary's birth was not what I would describe as serene. Or particularly gentle. What I would say about it is that it was powerful. I was powerful.
I discovered my power, hidden for so long beneath the layers of self-doubt and fear. Beneath the by-products of just-wanting-to-be-loved-no-matter-the-cost. And once my power was revealed to me, turning back was simply not an option.
I have spent most of my life believing that I am too selfish to be a truly good person, too weak to make a sacrifice that really matters. I was never doing enough. Never giving enough. Always expecting that someone else would have sacrificed more. And then I became a parent and I learned exactly how far I was willing and able to go for the benefit of my children.
Im intent upon spending the rest of this life believing what is true about myself. And that is:
I am a powerful woman. I am a giving person. Things grow in my care.
And here's a little bit of tangible proof. My first Real Garden. One where things actually grow. It feeds me. It fills me with delight.
My gorgeous, happy children. I give to them and they grow. They feed me. They fill me with delight.