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Here are some posts in the works:

Blackberries and ancestors, connection and babies.  My friend described picking blackberries at her home as a “holy mission”, which I thought was kind of weird.  Until I went picking last week, then again today.  Free food makes my heart sing.  Seriously.  I have a food “thing” and to know that I was gathering something to be used later that was costing me only time and energy was FANTASTIC!  I took all the kids, plus friends, so I eventually wound up wading through the thorns while nursing M in the Ergo.  Poor baby, I caught a leg on a nasty thorn…thank goodness for the miraculous healing properties of breastmilk, just pop a boob in the mouth and voila, all is forgiven.  I try to remember this when I get annoyed with toddler-nursing-gymnastics and the resulting assaulted feeling.  I thought about what my ancestors (I was mere feet away from my family’s land and it is highly possible that the spot I was picking was in the family at some point) felt when they were picking berries here.  Did they?  Was it a woman, a mother like me?  Did she hold her baby and nurse or did another mother sit close by?  Just as I feel connected to all the mothers who ever were or will be when I give birth, so too did I feel this very real connection to long-ago berry pickers.  How interesting.

In keeping with the random theme, this picture has nothing to do with the actual post....I just really like it!  My friend Shellei of www.goddessgarb.comdyed this gorgeous cloth.

In keeping with the random theme, this picture has nothing to do with the actual post..I just really like it!  www.goddessgarb.com dyed this gorgeous cloth.

Midwifery is everywhere!  New page to highlight my journey.  Even though this blog is obviously mostly about birthy stuff, I do write other things and sometimes it feels strange to have them all in the same spot.  I also realized that I enjoy reading about students of midwifery and their paths, so perhaps some would be interested in reading as I go along my path of midwifery study.  Check out the page linked above often to see what I’ve added.  My intention is to write once a week (or so) about what I’m working on and what my thoughts are.

Community.  Building it, feeling it, leaving it.  I’ve been feeling an increasing sense of community…this community…the community I was born into, where most of my family resides, where the majority of my growing up years were.  This community has sustained me through some rough waters and I want to give back, am trying to every day.  I also have this idea that building and supporting my community now will encourage my community to support me when I am a midwife.  This is taking many forms, from a produce cooperative to the various support groups I’m hoping to have up and running this year.  Of course, part of this is also because I know there’s a chance we’ll leave at some point (maybe for a time, maybe for good) and it’s important to me that I leave here having encouraged the best community I can.

More on poverty.  I have about three different posts concerning poverty in the works.  They are so difficult to finish.  How much do I say?  I can’t believe this, but poverty and talking about poverty are controversial!  How do I phrase things in a way that encompasses the magnitude without hurting others or placing blame?  Hopefully, I’ll figure this out sooner rather than later.  I did happen to catch a very apt quote in a book I’m reading, Voluntary Simplicity: Toward a Way of Life That Is Outwardly Simple, Inwardly Rich (Revised edition) :

Poverty is involuntary and debilitating, whereas simplicity is voluntary and enabling.  Poverty is mean and degrading to the human spirit, whereas a life of conscious simplicity can have both a beauty and a functional integrity that elevates the human spirit.  Involuntary poverty generates a sense of helplessness, passivity, and despair, whereas purposeful simplicity fosters a sense of personal empowerment, creative engagement, and opportunity.

Parenting, of course.  I’m working on a poem or memo or letter to myself that will go something along the lines of “Don’t forget this”, as in:

Don’t forget what it was like to live life at the whims of a tired, cranky 2 year-old.

When you see that mama in the store struggling to keep it together, remember.

Force yourself to push through the lovely memories that (thank goodness!) cover the haze of those darker moments.

REMEMBER and help her.

30 Day Challenge.  I’m on day two of a challenge I’m undertaking to remind myself of all the kind, generous, wonderful people/places/things I have to be grateful for in my life.  I hope to have that posted in the next day or two!