It’s been quite a summer this year (obviously not weather -wise here in the UK, that’s been the usual mix of grey and wet with the odd bit of sunshine poking through!) It’s been a puppy-filled summer as our Moth gave birth to 7 gorgeous little ones. My hands have been full and my life very distracted. It’s why I haven’t turned up to write as much as I usually would, it’s why my normal rhythm has been interrupted.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the wonder of gestation, birth and growth. Moth’s pregnancy lasted just under nine weeks from the date that she and Reggie hung out together in our garden. Just nine weeks from nothing to something and not just any something, fully formed, living, breathing, individual somethings with the cutest faces you have EVER seen.
I was with Moth all the way through the birth and on my own for 3 of the 7 arrivals. It was an experience I will never forget, special in so many ways, especially for this childless woman. Moth was perfect once she realised what was happening. The first little one popped out and took her by surprise, it lay for what felt like ages but must have only been seconds, encased in it’s sack whilst we coaxed and encouraged her to lick it into its first breath. From then on she then found her stride until seven wriggling sausages were gently suckling at her milk-heavy breasts.
Since then we have witnessed exponential growth, eyes opening, curiosity about everything, hunger growing. They have changed so quickly and have all developed individual characters, all loving attention and play!
Gestation and birth is a big deal. What follows, an even bigger one. For the first few weeks Moth was glued to her little ones, she gave everything of herself until she was skin and bones – normal procedure for nursing dogs.
We gestate and birth many things in our lives, not just babies. The process is one requiring two of a kind, whether animal or human. It’s the same when we birth a new project, vision, idea or way of being. In this kind of birthing there’s a human/divine union which creates the fertile soil for new growth.
Sometimes we carry things for a long time before they eventually come to birth. Sometimes what we birth takes us by surprise and we need a time of adjustment before it takes breath and wriggles into life. Sometimes we have to let something die in order to make space for the new that has arrived. Sometimes what we’ve birthed grows so quickly we can hardly keep up, relying on instinct and grace as the path unfolds.
It is a layered process, an on-going, ever moving one. As I look out on the garden right now it is full of insect life, butterflies and blossom. This garden life seems to know how to give itself fully to being alive, here and now. It instinctively knows how to be present to what is without worrying about what’s to come. It can be the same for us – birth comes and goes. We move through seasons of seeming nothingness, through gestation and then comes the new – either unexpectedly or very much hoped for.
I wonder if we can move with this rhythm, if we can cradle what we’re gestating with wonder and curiosity? I wonder if we can allow, welcome and give vision to what’s growing within and then let it be what it is when it arrives? Can we let instinct/ Holy Spirit step in when we’re not sure what to do with what’s been born? Can we trust that the food needed to nurture and grow this new life will be there when it’s needed? I know I need to ask these questions of myself as I gestate vision and as the unexpected suddenly comes to life.
Birth is a miracle, the process that leads up to it is a miracle, life is a miracle. We are Divinely, uniquely created and what is birthed from us is the same. We may gestate some things for a lifetime whilst others come quickly. Can we trust that however long our births take to become a reality that there are Divine, loving, welcoming hands ready to help us along and nurture what we’ve been given? Can we trust in our waiting that time will bring this birth to pass and that that timing in its mysterious way will be just right?
Our gorgeous puppies are getting ready to move onto their new homes which will be both a joy and sadness for me. They have been a huge gift for the few weeks we have had them in our lives, we helped birth them and nurture them to this point and now let them go. In the letting go space will be made for the new that will be birthed and so the cycle will continue. What an adventure it is to welcome, let go and welcome again. May I, may you, grow ever more into trusting this Divine cycle, to know that even in the letting go, new birth will come again – unexpectedly and long hoped for.