One day, draped over me, Max playfully touched my breast, a fading instinct from three years of breastfeeding. He refers to my breasts as mama and me as mom. I pushed his hand away and gave him a stern look. He asked, “Mom, how old are your mamas?” “My mamas,” I replied with a certain nostalgia, “are 42 years old.” He continued, “Mom, “how old is your cheek?” as he brushed his hand against it. “My cheeks are 42 years old.” “Mom, how old are your feet?” “My feet are 42 years old.” “Mom,” now with a giggle, “how old is your butt?” “My butt, is 42 years old.” And on and on to other body parts.
When he left, I felt somehow reunited with my body in a way that I hadn’t before. Like a long devoted lover that I had taken for granted, I had forgotten what we had been through, these 42 years. How she’s always been there for me, serving me, protecting me, keeping me company, communicating to me, allowing me to enjoy life and create and make love and give birth and hug and run and dance and swim. About how she always responded to my true needs. How she made me rest and slow down with illness and how she always recovered and was there for me no matter what abuse I put her through.
To listen deeply to one’s body is like listening to anyone one loves, it is to put one’s own agenda aside. And that is not an easy task. Too often I was deafened by my agendas for what my body is supposed to look like and feel like. How she’s supposed to move through the world. What she’s supposed to withstand without complaining and how she’s supposed to perform. With so much agenda, it was difficult to hear what my body was actually feeling, actually communicating to me. When I didn’t listen to my body when she needed rest or nourishment, I ended up in pain and turmoil.
When it is time to lay down and die, my body will tell me to let go. And when that day comes, my wish is that I will continue to love, trust and be in gratitude for her. Even as she seems to be failing, I believe that she knows better than I what is best for me. My body has always told the truth. No matter how I try to hoodwink the world and myself, my body displays plain and simple truths.
I pray that I will listen quietly and surrender. And have the courage let go of the fine companion that has seen me through the trials of this life so that my spirit can finally soar with trust and gratitude. Thank you to the one so close to me I almost forgot her constant presence. And thank you to the silly wise little one who emerged from her to remind me of my mortality.
Love & Community,