finding enough in the ether, my sacrum and the moments after my daughter was born

by rebecca on January 11, 2010

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       When my daughter was born I had the feeling of ether. Life became surreal and all I was capable of doing was staring and Loving. Good friends had given us giant white lilies and I spent hours laying her, naked, in a circle of these big blossoms atop a black blanket, simply staring at the miracle of her life. Love is stunning, and its beginning overwhelmed me completely.

       It felt like a personal biblical moment: In the beginning there was space. Ether. Breath. And it was enough. There was a firmament breathing together, laying still together. All was Love.


       It was my first little altar of motherhood. There were many more to come. This glorious exchange of Love has given me a place to worship and listen to the voice of God. But, of course, that little girl didn’t stay tiny enough to be encircled by a dozen flowers. She grew. She’s driving now.

       The stark contrast of that first altared space stuns me. The black blanket and the white lilies gave way for a helpless baby to grow into a girl who picks up tomatoes for me on the way home. At first her hand didn’t even cover my palm, now my hand is empty.

Consequently, I am looking for my new altared space. I am looking for the fresh bouquet of lilies and the face of Love that lies inside them. I am listening, again. When will I hear God speak?

Always a person wants a spiritual home. I am looking for mine. It is a losing game because there is no end-point to this journey.

       So it is in the spaces, the altared spaces, that I find my meaning. This is when I hear God whisper in my ear. I create the altar and, in the creating, I find that for which I search.


       My yoga teacher talked to us about enough recently. She had been very sick; too sick to practice yoga; too sick to breathe through her nose. So her yoga practice was reduced to her mind and her thoughts. Her meditation became this is enough.

       I don’t know about you, but when I’m sick I’m ready to think I’m pretty ripped off. I don’t have enough soft blankets. I don’t have enough Tylenol. I don’t have enough energy to work and I will fall behind and probably become an unemployed loser. Instead of this is enough, my temptation is to have my meditation become this is a giant rip-off.

       But then if I, like my teacher, count that for which I am grateful something happens. I breathe. I slowly allow the breath to fill not just my lungs or belly, but the low part of my back that is my sacrum. This is the secret spot that makes me feel alive. When I can fill this spot with breath I find I have all the space in the world; space to be patient, space to see lilies, space to have a sense of humor when the car driving past me splashes mud dots on my cheeks.

       This is where I find God.


       Right now I find God most often in the secret space of my breathing sacrum. This sounds highly sacrilegious, but it is one of the holiest findings of my life. My sacrum is my new black blanket covered in white lilies. It is newborn, quiet as the silence of snow.

I went skiing in fluffy snow away from the traffic of the lifts and lodges. We put skins on the bottoms of our skis and hiked up the big hill. We skied amidst the trees, then up above them. We ate nuts and oranges while we parked in our puffy jackets, then we ski-hiked some more.

       Finally, it was time to ski down. I looked around me and the world was white. Mounds and mounds of fairy-white-wonder filled my landscape. The snow was sparkling and untouched as far as I could see, and I could see forever. The silence penetrated my ears, my lungs, and it softened my skin.

       The sky was blue, save the wisps of feathered clouds painting it with white as well. I was surrounded with space, with ether, with all the air I could possibly want to breathe. It was so much more than enough that I was full; filled far beyond capacity. I was drenched in space and oxygen and whispers.

It is my sacrum that is breathing, but the breath – the oxygen – comes from the miracle of the vast ether of otherness. God is both; God within and God without.

       I had space not just to breathe, but space to feel myself. I felt calm descend even as the skiing unnerved me. I felt white joy, which is not bubbly and bright. Snow-white joy is quiet and billowous. It mirrors those huge mounds of snow that make a blanket over the hills of summer where lilies wait for June’s long days.

       My January altar begins where winter is quiet as my breath; where the blanket of snow has hushed everything and the air is still and crisp and all I feel is empty space.

       This is the perfect place for a beginning, because in all this emptiness there is so much enough.


Photo by Alfred Ng

If you would like to view more fabulous photos by Alfred Ng, click here.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Yvette Francino January 11, 2010 at 6:01 pm

Congratulations on the launch of your Website. I know this will be a place for many to find peace and serenity. You’ve opened my eyes and heart to many “altared spaces.” I feel honored to know you.


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