This Summer, I had the honor of attending a retreat for mothers from around the country, as part of a year-long commitment to a Motherworthy group I meet with weekly, online. This was my first trip away from my son Shaye, and my first time to North Carolina. I absolutely loved it! The weekend was relaxed and meaningful, and Shaye did great at home with Dada and Gramma Ummie. I led a simple rite of passage ritual for the group that was as powerful as I'd hoped.
Departing and still upon return, I find myself in close quarters with grief. Grief about how over-full life is. Grief about finally committing to weaning, of that rushed airport morning being his last "num num" for the rest of his life. Grief about everyone I love aging, and time passing. Grief about how much precious time has been lost to fear, worry, managing. Grief about violence on all levels and the state of the world. I wished to leave all that grief behind, then in classic "Emily" style found myself holding space for others to grieve. Though I left those mountains feeling so, so blessed, I still left with grief close by, like an overly friendly shadow always by my side.
I am lucky enough to...
I am lucky enough to advise for a wonderful non-profit, Stepping Stones Project, offering rites of passage to middle school aged youth. This past weekend, I led a daylong workshop for their community. During our "Autumn Council" I (not surprisingly) found myself in tears listening to our Elders talk about where they've been, what realms they've traversed in recent seasons. One in particular, is very dear to me. I've been following closely the story of his younger brother's cancer, and this Summer, his brother passed. During the Council, this beloved elder shared a gem I will never forget (in fact I'm posting this on my mirror to read daily!)
Of all the things he could share about his brother dying, he said,
Perhaps the greatest risk, is not to abandon life plans and live in a van, finally leave the Bay Area, to have a birthday party for the first time in like 20 years, to have another child, to give up my career, to raise my rates... agh. No. The greatest risk is to lower my standards to love being enough. And not just sort-of-love, except-for-that-one-thing-love. To love with all I've got - and in turn risk the whole structure crumbling around that love, and trust what's left is what's worth living for.
Love is enough... says the over-productive, overachieving, superhero world saving woman-healer-mama telling herself she's just about ready for kid #2. When will anything ever be "enough"?
I'm so grateful to Beth Berry, who led our Motherworthy Retreat in NC, for reminding me with every cell in her ~ to relax, to trust, to welcome, to rest. To forget about "ideally" and "if only" for 2 friggin' days, and let love be enough. What I can tell you is 2 days out of 2 years is definitely not enough!! :-)
Wishing you find your version of "enough" dear ones.