The late season snow, so necessary in our midwest drought, is gently melting into our soil. Thoughts of renewal frame the season change.
Renewal comes in cycles in our lives as much as for the earth in the annual Spring. Renewal is by definition out of something gone old, even decayed or perhaps wiped flat by storm. Somethings given up, there is a loss, there is a death. Winter is likened unto a sleep among the Seasons. Spring like an awakening.
A human life is a journey of growth, and even though the body is full height, the mind and heart grow on. In middle age, each decade or half decade seems to bring a broader perspective, in youth its by the year and in childhood by the quarter, and in infancy by the week. So my steps may be slower than they once were, but oh, so much more landscape is covered.
Birth is the first big visible, social celebration of a person’s life. The community recognizes a new member. The older members of the community, the elders or the providers, depending on the culture of the birthing mother, guide the birth by actions founded on the beliefs held in their established values. Often these are protective actions, and some actually do protect. Coming to a location set aside for birth, whether a hospital or a hut, eating and drinking or intake of certain foods, fluids or substances, and having certain rituals, whether IV fluids or prayers and things to effect the environment (disinfectants or incense, for instance). Whatever it is, the action carries great importance to the people providing this service. Looked at spiritually, these are gifts to the life of mother and child. Looked at from a wider view, the results may or may not be useful to the wellbeing of mother and child. Let the mother have a say and enter the discussion.
All these actions also act to guide the mother and child into the values of the larger community. To step outside of those protective actions can seem like a rejection to the people who are prepared to help. So why would someone choose a variation from the expected path?
I think one part of it, not all, but part of our reach beyond is because our heart and mind reaches further than the norm. A growth spurt, perhaps, a Spring branch stretching for the Sun.
There is often a struggle involved. This may be in the search for the birth attendant who has the skills, both in birth and in personality – and legal rights! It may be in the personal relationships with those who are happy not to reach. It may be within amongst the very parts of our own spirit as we reach in one area and are unsettled from a deep comfort in another.
The evolution of the human spirit is dependent on this reach. Birth rights are also dependent on the reach and the support for that reach. I am proud to be part of a World community of BirthKeepers, parents and providers, womens’ circles, social activists, lawyers, doctors and even marketers who help us spread the word for how birth can be better. Oh, that morning stretch!!