Ezra (5), still happily cozy in his car seat in the back, really loves to listen to music while we drive. He will say, invariably: “Can you TURN IT UP, Mom?” And when I say he “loves to listen”, I mean he REALLY listens, truly takes it in, takes in all the words, vocally makes note of what instruments he recognizes, “That’s a cello mom! That’s a ukulele! I can hear Native American flute and a guitar?… Is there piano too??” He recognizes musicians and has many favorites. He takes music in so deeply it inspires me to use rigorous discernment in the content of my musical choices~ for subject, tone, message, instrumental gift and spiritual intelligence. Recently after listening to a song of Lauren Ashley’s, (http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/laurenashleybrown) he said, “I love it when she says: ‘Strike a match/ become the flame’…and I also love when she says: ‘Take a stand/ for this life/ that you took birth to live...’” I asked him: “What do you love about that?” He shrugged, smiling, and said: “I guess it makes me feel lucky about being alive.”
Yes, yes, me too.
So anyway, yesterday, we were driving along, all three of us quiet inside ourselves, listening to the music, feeling lucky about being alive. I was holding Arayla’s hand as we drove, and I had the sudden presence of mind (in what's been an unusually emotionally challenging week) to notice the inexplicable sweetness of the moment. My hand clasped in hers, Ezra deep in his musical reverie in the back, driving through space and time. So potent and somewhat rare: these vibrantly peaceful moments in our very full lives, where none of us are asking anything of one other, nothing to negotiate or navigate, no disciplining required, no tension or time-pressure in the field, where we are all truly relaxed within these mother/child/sibling roles we play, simply being ourselves, simply sharing life.
As I held Arayla’s hand in mine I could feel the huge, vast, timeless, eternal, and exquisitely fresh and personal love pulsing between us there, flowing generously between our palms. And so I squeezed her hand, and spoke to it boldly, saying: “I love feeling this deep connection between us. I have a prayer that we can always access this connection my love, no matter whatever else is happening.” She returned the squeeze, and turned to me, beaming, sparkling her ancient eyes, confirming: “Oh yes, Mama, we will always have this.” I had a moment of subtle anxiety wash through me, knowing the archetypal implications, inherent potency and complexity in the mother-daughter bond, especially in the adolescent throes of surging hormones and individuation, and from this place, I said to her, vulnerably: “You promise?”
She looked at me warmly, kindly, smiled again, and was quiet for a moment, feeling into the deepest truth. Then she said, thoughtfully: “You know, I might have to go through a couple of phases, when I’m a teenager, of pulling away from our connection? So I can grow up more? Probably, like, when I’m 13 and 15? But don’t worry Mom. After we go through that? Our connection will be deeper and closer than ever.” I kissed her hand, reveled at the beauty of this Wise One, in all her clear knowing, fierce truthtelling, and deep-hearted kindness, and said: “Thank you Beloved.” <3