Tess and Chris, to be parents within a month or so, were festooned with marigold wreaths, as we all sat in a circle that kept changing as the young children ran about and adults sometimes hopped up to tend to the kids’ needs. The drummers held the beat at we sang chants in English and Spanish. Other musicians improvised on various instruments; my husband’s digital horn elicited curiosity and smiles. Garb was eclectic, ethnic, and free-box.
We took turns washing the very pregnant woman’s feet. We had just had a healthy potluck dinner, and after a while, women moved onto the floor around Tess. In turn, each woman held a small lighted candle and told the story of the birthing she had done. Most were home births, one or two were not, but every woman spoke of the skilled and nurturing support she had had. I spoke of llama births from my ranching days since I’ve not given birth myself. Each woman blew out her candle and added it to a group that Tess will have with her when her turn comes sooon.
I felt completely comfortable in the group. It reminded me of so many similar events, not just baby showers, from my hippie years in the late 60s and 70s. But this was happening now, just a few days ago. I loved feeling the continuity and I also kept wondering, what are these people like compared to my generation?
I thought of differences. We were trail-blazers for some things they take for granted, like the option of home birth and a choice of good midwives. I grew up before the women’s movement, ’nuff said. We had been reacting against the straight establishment and not trusting anyone over 30; they certainly have plenty to react against in our world, and I hope they have found some people over 30 trustworthy. We explored a permissiveness in child-raising that comes naturally to them; perhaps they struggle more with setting limits? We had never heard of indigo children; many of the kids running around the room had a self-assurance and presence that makes me think of this complex of traits, and likely some of the young parents themselves had been indigo kids.
But mainly I felt the connections, the love as we sang and chanted, the friendly acceptance among people, the simple pleasure of a simple celebration of life. As I listened to several women speak of how empowering the process of giving birth had been for them, as they advised Tess to go with the flow, I too was empowered by the wisdom voiced within the circle.