Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Community

This weekend was a great weekend! Our sustainability group-- newly named SOLSTICE (Seeds Of Love Sustainable Tribe & Intentional Community Evolution) did a work party at our place and it was awesome! We got a lot done. I now have: the beginning of a solar composting toilet made of handmade padobes done by Murv right on our property, electricity INSIDE my house, an outdoor shower with cold water hooked up (hot water is next on the list), two really nice paths, a small herb garden, and new safe front steps that are big enough to sit on! Even at 100 degrees outside we had a great time and I got very excited to see some progress! (Hence all the exclamation marks). Murv and Lucky making mortar

Lucky is a stonemason from Italy and he made me a beautiful stome floor and bench for my shower
(sorry about the shadows)
So this is a pretty big toilet... Murv says its going to be really cool when its done-- I'm slightly skeptical but if I hate it I guess I can grow bamboo around it-- Its really hard to explain how it works but the good news it the blocks are really user friendly and its a good practice structure...
In addition to our super work party on Sunday afternoon we had a Blessing Way in the grove of trees across from our house (which I call the park). It was an amazing experience for me. I felt totally overwhelmed with love and good intentions from neighbors and friends. If you are unfamiliar with a blessing way--here is a brief explanation...

A Blessing Way is one of the traditional healing ceremonies of the Navajo. It is an important part of the spiritual practices for those in the traditional 'religion' or worldview. A Blessing Way is one of the most sacred ceremonies associated with pregnancy. Traditionally a Blessing Way is a women only ceremony, however many women choose to include men. A Blessing Way is performed late in the pregnancy and is to give the mother to be strength for the deeply spiritual rite of passage she is about to encounter during her birth.
A Blessing Way, much to the chagrin of the Navajo, has recently become associated with pagan rituals, yet a Blessing Way can be adapted to any religion or none at all, it's the celebration of the woman about to give birth that is of importance.
Although society seems to have trivialized birth so that baby showers are often commercially bent without much reference to the sacredness of the birth experience, we can choose to gather with women (and men) to honour the work of the mother and the father and recognize birth as the transforming experience it is. The intention is always to create an atmosphere of reverence and love. We gather to create a space that is sacred but not serious. And since Blessing Ways are part of the creative process which is birth - anything can happen, Blessing Ways are joyful celebrations!
And our ceremony was really inspiring-- I felt like it was a really important emotional experience that helped me connect more with our baby and prepare for birth and becoming a mother and a family unit. My friends Celena and Jamie brought flowers and blankets and pillows and we gathered under the trees and each person in the circle shared belssing for both me and Murv and for the baby. Some of the prayers that were offered included blessing us and the baby with gifts like resourcefulness, tolerance, awe, bliss, humility, harmony, joy, lots of laughter, honesty and clear intent, forgiveness, compassion and courage.
The men amd women took turns talking about their own experiences with birth, we had drumming, singing, opening of gifts, and then we each tied a string around our wrist which we will wear until the baby is born which is to remind each of us to continue to send the good energy and blessings to the baby each time we look at the bracelet-- and then we ate delicious savory and sweet pies and the women braided my hair and massaged my legs, hands, feet, head and back, fed me fruit and pampered me while the men went off and chatted and did their own thing for awhile. It was a good opportunity to recieve and be in community and to honor the sacredness of parenthood, birth, life, family. I feel so grateful for so many blessings this weekend... I am in awe.

That's Vanessa-- she made the delicious pies-- her baby will be born in September!And Michael one of the elders in our group made this cradle by hand with no nails out of 40 year old pine that came from the shelves of a book store that was being redone-- what good energy for the bean!

5 comments:

2 little girls said...

What a beautiful gift your friends shared with you. I am so happy to know that you have love and support surrounding you at this time of awe.

The cradle is really special. Does it need a cushion to go inside it? If so...send the dimensions.

Lindsay & Casey said...

Wow Reb...that is awesome. Every little baby should have that experience before they come into this world. Birth IS a very sacred celebration.

Jen said...

What a wonderful post! You look wonderful and having this little baby is going to be amazing. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers over the next few weeks!

When this baby grows up to be a bookworm you will know where it came from. The cradle is beautiful!

Holli said...

Reb - I loved reading this post so much. Relishing in and sharing your pregnancy and birth experience with those around you, how special. I'm sending well wishes your way - and am sure your delivery will be every bit as beautiful and sacred as you hope.

Lots of Love,
Holli

PS your cradle is incredible!

Ryan & Mary said...

wow, a lot of people really love you! not that i'm surprised... you're fantastic! that cradle is amazing... your little bean almost has a name!