This week I have indulged my inner nerd and been at the World Religion's Institute which is an event sponsored by the Council for Spiritual and Ethical Education. Basically, it is a bunch of religion teachers hanging out talking more about religion. As we discuss the impact of colonization on world religious tradition and hear from a beautiful Apache woman to let go of the white (in my case Spanish) guilt. It is time that the present day community stop beating ourselves over decisions and actions that were made by others. It's refreshing and liberating!
Other than this permission to let go what has struck me most about being here, in relative isolation because cell phone connection is weak and Internet connection is spotty, that even though I am not one to bring up my pregnancy for discussion, it is a natural topic of conversation. At this point, the jig is up. There is no tucking in the tummy not that I ever wanted too. Since I saw that cross on the pregnancy test I have been waiting to look pregnant. So I am thrilled. I digress, so many folks want to share and talk about their experiences and it has been really wonderful to hear so many great stories. From one woman who gave birth at home after going to the hospital with contractions and was told it would be hours before she was ready to another that had a great birth experience in a warm hospital setting after years of trying to become pregnant. I feel lucky to have so many intelligent kind women in my life already and now supplemented by these equally strong ones. Women that have not been pregnant also have great things to say or ask and even men seem to embrace the mystery of the whole thing, as they bring up their wives and children. I know that some folks experience random people saying stupid things to you simply because you are pregnant, as if they are suddenly without social custom. I have yet to experience such audacity and I am thankful.
This morning our Apache scholar was sharing the significance and process of the Apache Girl's rites of passage ceremony. My own daughter, who was still snoozing (a girl after my own heart), started hearing the chants and listening to the story and begun kicking way in there. She was rolling. She was tapping. She might have thought my belly was her own drum to add to the rhythms. Later on, I was telling our professor at lunch, and she said, "She already knows is a woman!"