Don’t Ask Me: For the Childless, Divine Mothers of the World.
I see you there
Slinking past with your confident, subtle stare, lanky-dog body
Your curious questioning teeth, ready to hunt down the next prey
I am not that prey
I may look wild and dirty, but there is a tiny lavender flower in the softest part of me
It is watered by my tears
I don’t like to show it to anyone anymore
It folds in on itself, and closes when you demand your answer
Don’t ask me if I have kids. I watch you circling around me, tending to your cubs, your pups, even when they are not present. I see you, and I hear the words. When the sentence releases from your mouth, our eyes meet, and I scream violently inside as I firmly say No. You feel the scream, even if you never hear it. It shakes the energy in the air between us. You shy away, even if I smile as the No is delivered.
Even if I feel pressured to offer you another morsel of something, something I do have, something to minimize your discomfort.
Travel the timeline of the young girl wolf who said she didn’t want any kids, only to hear from her mother how she would change her mind. She did. So whether this girl was future-telling or this childless branch of her life was created when she released those words, it is a bitter taste when You ask now.
Don’t define me as a woman by deciding that this question is the only way you can know me or relate to me, because even if I did have kids, you would be wrong.
I dream of blushing stars and summer tea and the snort of a horse. Don’t give me that sideways glance that you think is knowing when I say I have four-legged kids. Yes. Your knowing glance shows your unknowing written in your eyes. The unknowing you claim in your heart is that animals are not the same. It’s not the same. I am not the same.
You don’t know what to do with me now as we sip wine or eat hors d’oeuvres.
You are right about that. I am not the same. I cry into animal fur because of harsh words shared so many times about this topic in the darkest corners of my life, and because of my primal urge to push bone and flesh from the wildest part of my soul into the world. So you don’t know the shocking grief of having had moments of deep longing, names picked, months counted, only to arrive at a bloody greeting of No.
You don’t know the ache in a cracked, divided heart from attending a multitude of showers and buying tiny outfits to never feel that full, rich, deep bond. To never hear the breath of your own creation, to never have to fight the demons of sleeplessness because it is so worth it. To feel that mixture of total joy and love for your friend during her pregnancy, combined with guilt that you are also feeling an envy, a longing.
Especially when I didn’t want any.
I am not the same because I do honor the beauty that exists in your life-giving connection with your child. I know that I do not know because I have not experienced this exact experience in life that you have. But, know that it may be possible that I have experienced unique things in my life.
I have felt bliss in watching a dragonfly, thinking of my dear friend who loves them. I have watched a bear run across a road right in front of me at a time when I needed some God-affirmation. I have loved so deeply, so passionately, so squarely in the center of my being that I felt the love energy in front of my chest. I have laughed until I couldn’t laugh any longer.
I have heard the perfect band on the perfect night in Nashville, Tennessee, with exactly the right people. I have driven to Wisconsin to pick up a puppy, and held him tight. I have partnered up to try to help a donkey with a wound through a fence, in another country. I like to think that his wound healed easily. And I have lain across my great horse as he moved from this world to the heavens.
I have lost through the generations of my days. I have cried for entire weeks. I have shouted in angst to the trees and the dirt.
This childless grief, however, is strange because it is a grief of what never existed, except on the hope carried on the silvery wings of an owl. It is a backwards-inside-out-sweatshirt-day kind of grief. It is hollow and filled with substance at the exact same moment. Filled with nostalgia and the desire to leave something of myself, of my cellular substance, of my love, behind when I go.
So, what I understand is that Love is Love. I look at your cubs, your pups, and I am amazed by all of who they are, and I am in awe that they are here, that you created them. Created them. They are love and beauty in all of their silliness, in all of their capability, and in all of their adventure.
And I also feel for you regarding how hard it must be for you too. How hard it must be at times to constantly be on, meeting needs and demands all day in a world that no longer honors the time and space needed for mothers and kids to naturally move through their days. I know you must be tired and drained from worry at times that begins when they are born, never stopping.
I know and I don’t know, you know? It’s like looking at something from a side angle. And I can love deeply from that angle too.
And we all agree too that the loss of a child is the most deep wound, the knife in the heart, and so I honor those women who are walking around with that pain, that deepest wound, that pain that I can’t understand. I don’t know how you walk upright. I really don’t.
So, I know that whoever you are, whatever your feminine path on this planet is, that you too know my pain in some way. I know this. I know that many of you have experienced what I have.
So ask me something different. Ask me where I would travel to if I had to leave tomorrow. Ask if I am a dog or cat person, ask me my burning desire, my biggest regret, my greatest sorrow, but don’t ask me if I have kids. At least when we first meet. At least in those first seconds.
But if your only dream that you ever dreamed involves those kids, if this dream persists, if this is how you relate to women at this age, in this time, then ask me if I have kids and I will say Yes. I do have kids. My children are the birds, the wolves, the individual blades of grass, the moths, the toads, the flying blue heron, they are all my children. I birthed that look that crossed your face when you heard my reply.
I birthed it all.
Maura Coyne is a seeker, a dirty wild horse girl, and a lover of the passionate life. She practices hypnotherapy, equine therapy and energy/breathwork to assist others in removing the blocks and obstacles that often prevent them from moving forward on their life path. Teaching others to transmute the heavy and dark challenges that they face, by moving them into the light of creativity, strength and spirit, she is committed to healing herself along the way, and witnessing miracles in Nature. If you are interested in a little soul archaeology of your own, contact her at Wild Goose Farm, named for her patriarchal Coyne ancestral line. She aspires to continue going on wild goose chases for the rest of her time on the planet.