like a cat
on silent feet
about my own house–
while you were sleeping,
sprayed on the pillow,
safe and solitary,
and my doors
shut for your safety
and your comfort.
I did this
thinking I was intruding,
yet wanting to see
the most beautiful thing
that has ever been in my house.
~Mary Oliver, “I Woke” from Blue Horses
During a lecture, Lorin Roche described mediation as the “practice of paying loving attention to life” or “falling in love with life.” The meditation teacher and author then went on to describe how mothers are constantly meditating. I thought it was a beautiful sentiment. I hoped I would one day experience this magical practice. Until recently I have not truly known what this full-bodied, full-time mediation really entailed.
I am by no means as expert as I have just survived these past six weeks with one child. However, becoming a mother has given me a new perspective on meditation. I am now paying attention to each moment, facial expression, small coo, gurgle and cry with a constant, loving awareness. I did not know I could become so singular in mind and purpose before I met my daughter. Even when I am doing something totally unrelated–taking a shower, doing yoga, reading etc –there is an undercurrent in my mind that is still focused on her.
Every single person on this earth had a mother. Whether or not the relationship with the mother is one of nourishing and care, I believe that most mothers (adoptive mothers included) are part of this constant meditation. It is a tether that is forged in the most delicate moments with a new child but is unbreakable. A bond that starts in the womb but strengthen through the sleepless night and first smiles. A connection that will continue to deepen in a way I have still yet to experience as a child grows into an adult. I think of my mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and the whole lineage of women who came before me. All strong and capable but probably found themselves in the middle of the night exhausted, overwhelmed, and likely at the verge of tears because of a tiny human being who will not settle down. They probably also found themselves staring at their child in more peaceful moments and wondering if there is anything in the world so perfect, so beautiful , and so overflowing with love.
Motherhood has proven to me that I know even less than thought, but with love I am capable of more than I ever imagined. Like meditation, motherhood is not easy but it is magical. It is not glamorous but it is filled with unimaginable joy. It really is falling in love with life.
My husband and I were delighted to invite Cora Marie into the world on November 18, 2018. I will be on maternity leave from teaching yoga for the remainder of the winter as I continue to fall in love with Cora. Stay tuned as spring emerges. Until then, I am looking forward to beginning 2019 with this new meditation of motherhood.
Love and Light,
Kristin (& Luna, Cora’s full-time protector)