And She Speaks: New Moon Rising.
Tonight I ask her with my small voice, what she wants me to know. I’ve asked her for a full day now. Silence, mostly, is the answer.
But a single word pierces through the darkness of this silence: Gratitude. “I want gratitude for serving you well,” she says.
And so it is. Have I ever spoken words of gratitude and appreciation to her? I have not, I think. Taking her for granted, like the rest of my body, serving me with breath and warmth and movement, with thought and love and every beating drum of my heart. I sit now, in stillness, listening to her quivering tiny heart, buried deep in my belly. She has served me well, all the days of her life… our life together.
From the first moment of bleeding, my young junior high world turned upside down that day in white bell bottom pants, unprepared for her announcing arrival. Showing me the comings and goings of the moon’s rhythm, when I didn’t even know we were related. Watching and waiting and knowing we would be companions from month to month. Giving and taking, empty and full, then empty again.
Through every single pregnancy, faithfully holding and nourishing and growing each new love of my life. Responding to every message my body sent. Over and over again each month. Predictable, reliable friend. We were one together. Intimate companions. Knowing each other. Keeping secrets that none other could know.
Her painful reminders that we would start afresh each month. I hated and loved the cramping and bleeding. Knowing it signaled a new cycle, inconvenient yet reassuring.
Together, we grew and birthed seven children. We ached and hurt in agony, we two, then joyously thrust those children into the world. Each new child brought longer days of afterbirth pains. Her reminder that she had worked harder still, and again. Yet, she worked and contracted her way back, ready to do her work once more.
Hand in hand we walked this road, long after most women are done. And finally, we made an agreement that we too were complete. No longer would we nestle a tiny seed together, and lumber our way into childbirth. With the last one born, near midlife, our child-bearing journey together was over. We sat together in that old leather chair and contemplated the end. We shared memories and sadness, but there was joy in the finishing too.
We sputtered along together in our moon cycles for another decade. Old, happy, familiar friends. Watching and waiting, knowing the routine and rhythm. Until the weeks between became months, and eventually, a year and more.
Our bleeding time together has recently ended. There is melancholy that our blood work is finished. But mostly, we are happy to be retired now. We’ve worked long and hard together. She’s still my companion, holding me now, nourishing me, growing me from what I’ve been to what I will become. We are different now, but still together. She is my Wisdom source.
We talk about old times on occasion, but mostly, she looks ahead and tells me what is coming, what is possible. When I am tired, confused, and worn out from the worry and strain of it all, from the idea that life is on pause, she reassures me that she’s holding me and that we are cooking up something wonderful, something more amazing than we’ve ever lived before.
And so I listen and trust and put my hand in hers, gaze into her knowing, loving eyes, and say Thank you.
Thank you for your companionship, and faithful, loving friendship. For being there when others were not. For guiding me, for taking me by the hand and leading me into and through womanhood, motherhood, and now our crowning glory, Wild Wise-Womanhood. We have seen so much, and been so much, and loved so much. Thank you for each and every moment. I look forward to our new life together.
MerrieJayne Rheingans, a mother of seven adult children and former pediatrician, is now a nomadic and free-spirited woman, who takes to the road in search of high adventure as opportunity presents itself. She is well-traveled, courageous and open to all possibility. Serendipity guides her travels and writing. She aspires to a free, bohemian life, yet loves to land at her home-base in the desert, to regain her footing and plan her next adventure. She lives with her favorite man, sharing a minimalist lifestyle, always seeking to travel with as little ‘baggage’ as possible.