This morning as I lay in my bed in the dark, gently transitioning into the new day, I saw the light pouring out through the crack of Ezra’s bedroom door, which shares a wall with my own bedroom.
I stretched my ears to listen to the most marvelous sound~ a sound that is deeply familiar to me by now~ of him playing joyously by himself, deep in imagination, building some starry lego ship, for noble star warriors to zoom through the universe of his bedroom. I couldn’t decipher a single word of his play, but my heart rested with such simple happiness on the golden strand of his voice, simply enjoying being himself.
I called to him then: “Ezra my love?” And quickly he was jumping to his feet, swinging open the door, leaping into my bed, scrambling with all his freshly showered damp boy skin into my warm, welcoming arms. His radiant morning happiness oozed from his sweet face, his bright eyes, his powerful sunshine heart, as he snuggled in close to Mama. And as my own heart burst for the ten millionth time about his very existence, I whispered into his ear: “Tomorrow you are turning 8 years old!!” And he wriggled and squiggled with uncontainable delight.
Eight years ago today I was beginning to cross the luminous bridge of souls, opening the path for Ezra Star to find his way out through my womb, into his birth, his breath, his glorious being.
I had been up most of the night before with contractions, sitting in meditation by candlelight, communing quietly with my unborn son, cherishing what I knew to be our last moments together, as one, like this.
Before I had woken with the contractions, I had dreamt the most amazing dream, of being greeted at the top of a trail by a small lion cub! This playful, fuzzy-golden cub had sparkled his mischievous eyes at me, daring me to follow him down the trail, and I had followed him happily in the dream, all the way down, around each bend of the trail to the river. When we got to the bottom I sat down on the riverbank and the little cub pounced on me, with all his glorious playful wildness, knocking me down, licking my face. I had woken up just then to contractions, and knew in my dream I had just met my little lion of a son!
I tiptoed downstairs, past my sleeping husband and daughter, and lit a candle by the couch, then settled into a deep space of meditation, exploring with innocent curiosity this phenomenon of “contraction.”
In those hours of breathing alone with my baby inside, it felt to me like my son was teaching me how to open to his birth, he was leading me down the trail to the river; saying “Follow me, Mom!” showing me the possibility of pleasure and play and joy in birthing.
I had given birth 3 ½ years earlier, healthfully and powerfully at home, to my gorgeous daughter Arayla Grace. But her birth had been a different kind of initiation into Motherhood~ 3 days of excruciating back labor, overcome by searing pain, wailing prayers for mercy; requiring me to discover a kind of strength, courage, tenacity and surrender I had never before known I was capable of.
This time, I wanted to know a different flavor of birthing. I wanted to know the wild, primal pleasure I had heard was possible for women as we open in giving birth to Life. I felt my ancient unborn son showing me, as we sat in those sleepless hours together, teaching me about breathing into the sensation of pleasure, expanding my consciousness, opening my heart with every contraction of my womb, letting it be sensuous and full of love, moving him slowly down, down, closer and closer to the gateway.
As dawn approached, the contractions subsided. Chris and Arayla awakened, and we all bowed into a new autumnal day together, wondering: will this be the day our boy makes his journey out into our arms?? We went to see our incredible midwife, Laura Roe, and she took one look at me in my in-between-worlds state, and nodded with confidence: “Yes, it’s close!” She gave me the assignment to go to the flower shop and find 4 roses, blooming open, for me to put on our birth altar at home, as an inspiring mirror for my own blooming open.
Around 10 pm that night, the contractions started again, first gently, then strong. Chris and I lit candles and he built a big fire in the wood stove. We anointed each other with special oils and dove into prayers of welcoming our son. He started to fill the birthing tub and I began my birth song~ toning, breathing, following the energy from my womb to my cervix, the way Ezra had shown me the night before.
Stretching open into the edge of pleasure inside each contraction. Staying curious about sensation, unwilling to presume pain. There were many moments of wild, life-changing bliss as my body did what it knew how to do. Chris fed me honey by the spoonful. Less than 4 hours later, and not long after our amazing midwives arrived, in the wee hours of October 26th, I allowed the primal pushing, breathing, singing the sacred wail of opening, to bring Ezra Star to crown, as he moved very deliberately out of me, like a Master, into his first cry of love for life.
What a birthing. How much I learned in that process of opening to bring him through; how much trust in my body, trust in what was there to be discovered if only I remained innocent and curious about intense sensation.
And what a boy! This Starry, huge-hearted Jedi-Prince, who leads me still, every single day, down the trail to the river of LIFE; his eyes flashing with brilliant love, heartrending courage, fierce fire and pure joy.
How much I learn from getting to play this role as his mother, his adoring steward, champion, devoted servant of his precious becoming. How much I learn from his tender, sensitive perceptions, his anger, his disappointment, his grief and his fears, his big life questions, his contagious laughter, and hard-headed stubbornness. How much I learn from him about the way to meet in Love, moment by moment, how to say yes and how to say no, how to be patient and kind, brave and honest and real, and how to play through it all.
His official birthday is tomorrow. But I’m celebrating now, and always…
I love you Ezra Star. Thank you for choosing us. Thank you for your sacred life.