50-pearl-laden-oysters-10720 Remember, daughter, a decade ago, the way we trusted the development of frogs in an ecosystem of torrential rains and thunder? Remember the way it felt to hold hands across life’s big rivers and streams? I’m still there, trying to make my way past-present into the dry earthy mountains, missing the humidity of your childhood. The wavy way the permanent marker crosses years and all the mistakes, past, present future I wish I’d never made.

I went running that one day and everything changed. I’m reckoning with the fact I’ve never been able to protect you fully, that if I’d really understood this I don’t know if I could have been brave enough to be a mom at all.

Yet life feels so precious, a silver orb throned on the mantle’s tongue.  My parents couldn’t protect me, either. Yet what’s strongest and best in me formed from the worst life could throw at me and the way I yielded eventually and just asked for mercy. And healing. And the way each knife thrust deep into my belly has softened into backbone.

What bravest, strongest, most holy in you is on its way, dear one? The whole universe sighs in pleasure that you’re alive. What comes next, not yet wholly formed, will supersede all expectations as the you you will become.

I trust her in you, you in her.

I bow and release you both to the future that’s wholly, holy your own.

I cry for the rain, for the lost frogs and Ibis. For the holy home we loved, for the we we were, even as my jaw drops in awe at the scale and beauty of what’s in store. Thank you for choosing me to come through, thanks for joining me along the way for some of the most brutal and sweetest of encounters. Forgive me for all the ways I suffered, that you suffered, that we couldn’t hold back our challenges anymore than the wild storms, any more than the rain.

I love you so. I forgive myself for that day and all those that still exist then and now when I wasn’t all you needed. All you need you’ll call into existence from deep within your soul, shouting over and over This is me! This is me! This is my name! This is who I need to grow into! This is the reason I came!  And help will come when you call out Help me hold me dear holy father in heaven and mother Earth as I take in and transform all these foreign objects into sacred magic pebbles, pearls of stone, bones.

Or something completely different that works for you, right?

You roll your eyes and we both laugh and pray we’re right.

Amen.