Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Moment of Clarity

Thinking back to the time when I was pregnant with my now four-year-old, I feel so blessed to have been able to enjoy the pregnancy in the way I did. Not that I didn’t have morning sickness, or extreme angst about some things that were happening in my life, but my memory of the pregnancy (which hormone is it that makes you forget the rough stuff?) is thoroughly beautiful.

I wandered the trails around Calgary’s Glenmore Reservoir, my belly pressing warmly against my winter coat. When I remember the time, I have this Utopian vision of my cheeks rosy and shiny, my hair gently blowing in the wind, my belly glowing sun-like right through my coat, and a smile that just wouldn’t stop glistening on my perfectly plump face. My hands, for 9 ½ months, were both on my belly, just below my belly button for the majority of each day.

I consciously chose to be outside as often as possible during my pregnancy, and I made that time a special time to deeply connect with the baby in my belly, and with nature. I sang to the trees and the river and the sky, and to my baby, vaguely self-conscious that my singing would be overheard by the many walkers, runners, and cyclists passing along the trails.

One cold morning I got to my usual walking place a little earlier than normal. This felt like a gift. Everything was so quiet and peaceful, no chattering joggers and no bikes whizzing by. I started to sing, listening to my voice echoing the song of my baby’s possible names out into the trees. I headed down the hill into a more excluded wooded area, and about halfway down the hill my thoughts started to churn.

First, I had images of somebody jumping out of the woods, demanding all my money. I held tightly to the cell phone in my pocket, considering storing 911 in my quick-dial as I continued my walk. Then my mind jumped to the time someone had come across a bear on the trail just a bit away from where I was walking. My thoughts flipped to the realization that I would be more frightened of a person than a bear, in that situation. Finally, I realized that people don’t usually carry money while jogging or biking, so anybody jumping out of the woods would be doing so with more horrible intentions.

In the midst of these thoughts and images racing through my mind, both hands went to my belly, and my fear jolted me through to a fight-or-flight response. For a moment, as I considered turning to run back up the hill, I stopped and stood still, tingling with the awareness of danger.

In that moment, a powerful image entered into my mind – I could see a man, obviously of ill-intent, heading up the hill toward me, and I saw myself reach forward, into his chest, and hold his heart in my hand. His eyes looked into mine, and he knew, in the depth of his being, that I would kill him if I needed to.

In that split second, I knew it too, in a way so absolute that the peace of the moment was overwhelming. I knew that if it was necessary, I would growl words that made the incredible, life-giving power of my love for my unborn baby so clear that my attacker would back down and run for his own life. And I knew that, if necessary, I would use my unwieldy body in such a way that any person threatening my baby would be hurt or even killed. I knew also that the power of my love would extend into mercy, and that as soon as an attacker’s intention shifted, he would be released, and encouraged to run.

The image passed, and I exhaled my held breath, my eyes still open wide. The woods shifted back into the warm arms that held my walk and echoed my songs, and the path seemed to open up ahead of me. I continued that walk, and the many more that followed it, drenched in awe for the life journey I was embarking on, and completely confident that the mama in me had access to whatever would be necessary to protect my baby.

Lisa Kathleen is a parenting coach and parent educator in Calgary, Alberta. You can find her on her website at www.fullcircleparenting.com

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