I read over the Red Tent themes for March, and find many that loom large in my life.
March: becoming, Lent, ambivalence, labor pains, Spring Break, coming birth, trapped, restlessness.
Becoming, ambivalence, labor pains, coming birth, trapped, restlessness. Those.
Who am I becoming in this season of life, now that my childbearing chapter, a thick volume, has closed?
What is this ambivalence I feel towards what is coming up next?
For one who has experienced labor pains crashing over fast and furiously, indicating coming birth, my head knows it’s best to just roll with it, while my heart shuts down and says otherwise. I fight against the pain, making the already excruciating, yet inevitable birthing-out process, much slower and more difficult than it would be if I relaxed and leaned into it.
Birthing is a huge theme in my story, yet I am eerily detached from it. I know the feeling of being trapped in your own skin with only one way out, which is through. Through the pain to the joy.
What are these next labor pains going to birth?
As I sit in the silence of a snow day with the sound of melting snow dripping from the roof, that question haunts me. Taunts me.
I feel restless.
The restlessness is what comes before the labor pains, which signal the coming birth of whatever it is that is trapped inside. Waiting to be born.
I will be here to catch it, clean it off, hold it close, and help it grow.
Julie McClay lives in Virginia’s beautiful Shenandoah Valley with her high school sweetheart (and husband of 22 years) and 5 of their 8 children. She is learning that while it can be painful to face the past honestly while living in the moment and looking towards the future, it can be healing and lead to eh the hope of a brighter future. She digs through these thoughts and feelings here.