I’ve always believed in magic. It’s irresistible.
Still, so many days of my adult years have been occupied with the stress of responsibilities that coincide with being grown up, that, until recently, I had all but forgotten to look for it.
Magic has resurfaced in my life. Maybe I just got a little more grown up so I got closer to the other side of childhood and I am now open to seeing it again.
Or maybe its just a more magical year than last. Is that possible? If you’re shrugging your shoulder and saying, “What on earth is she talking about now?” Let me explain.
My eight-year-old daughter is the one who has re-openend my eyes to the wonder all about me.
Something happened to me when she was born. Something like relief. I’m still pondering that sensation, and watching it grow.
My heart is so comfortably planted next to hers, our rootlets touching and sharing nutrients.
I am taller, and see a broader view, and she is littler and finds the most extraordinary miracles in the nature around our feet. I gently teach her all I can about healing with plants, about kindness, about life purpose, about forgiving, loving, caring, making a difference and about strength and gentleness. She teaches me to play, to stop, to read, to laugh, to hold hands, to cuddle, to eat ice cream, to splash in the water, to examine bugs up close and care for creatures of all sorts, to run fast and jump high, and to remember to just be me.
I crave space to be just Mom and daughter.
Sometimes these mindful moments together happen briefly after school, or just before bed, or on a Sunday morning. But often the busy-ness of life distracts me from mindful parenting. I’m so focused on finishing whatever pressing task is at hand, that I don’t stop to really hear her, or watch her, or sit with her. Sometimes it is easier to keep pushing ahead, than to stop and listen.
I recently returned from teaching at the New England Women’s Herbal Conference. 800 women stepped out of their normal routine and gathered that weekend at Camp Wicosuta in New Hampshire. Founded by the truly magical Rosemary Gladstar, a tremendous kinship with plant medicine bound the women together for three days. Women from all walks of life shared their stories and wisdom and a spirit of gentle empowerment resonated with many of us.
The weekend was nearly perfect in my eyes. New friends and connections made there will persist for years and years. Many mothers brought their daughters, and some daughters, such as Rosemary, brought their mothers. Rosemary’s mother, in her 90s reigned supreme, her heart full of love and joy. I think she dished out over 400 hugs a day.
I resolved to return next year, this time with my daughter. I recognize how much there is for her to learn amongst this broad rainbow of wise women. And I realize that this is one of the most potent places to just be mom and daughter together.
Part of the reason I founded the MidAtlantic Women’s Herbal Conference, the baby-sister conference of Rosemary’s, was for her. She was just 1 year old the first year, and I hope she will make it every year until I am 92, and our roles are reversed. My dear mother attends every year also. And maybe someday I will lure my sister here from South Dakota with her daughter.
This I know for certain. An education happens for her, and for me, at this gathering, that is unattainable at any school, that is hard to explain to someone who hasn’t been, and that sustains that little ember of magic within us and between us.
Maybe that is the key.