Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Hello, I am a Grown Up.
And Yes, I CAN TAKE IT!!!
That I am a grown up may be obvious,
but this time it's for REAL people.
For my birthday, SwedeDaddy took me on a surprise trip to Röstånga Camping, where a week after all the pools closed we were able to sneak in one last warm outdoor swim. The park has a heated outdoor pool and waterslide, and it's close to Söderåsen National Park, with this vista that has earned it the name 'The Grand Canyon of Sweden'.
I've never given much thought to how old I am. My dad reports he had to rearrange his mental furniture when he turned thirty, and was suddenly just a guy and not an up and coming someone. Well, I think 35 is the new 30 then.
Mushroom in Söderåsen National Park
At 30, I was still feeling like an up and comer, and felt accomplished for being so young. I was running my own business and delivering babies! But still, in a corner of my heart I felt like a kid. I was pregnant with the SwedeGirl at my 30th birthday, so I had the changes of parenthood on the horizon, and that whispered 'you are a real adult' in just the right, but still unreal, sort of way.
A forest hideout in Söderåsen National Park
Well last year I was the Thanksgiving Turkey maker. Twice. And I prepared a Christmas Feast. There was no other matriarch around to do it, and I was married to the forty year old man and patriarch who was carving the roast beast. Folks, it is the real deal now, I am a grown up.
The woman's wheel of life has been conceptualized as a triple goddess in the aspects of maiden-mother-crone with Celtic goddesses like Bridgid (link), and associated with the moon phases of waxing moon/ full moon/ waning moon. At thirty I was not quite a mother, and still felt I had a toe in maidenhood somehow. Still waxing. And 31, 32 - that is still virtually 28! But 35 feels closer to 45. Full moon, full on adulthood. Changing your place on the wheel makes you aware the turn will happen again, and someday, if you are lucky, you will be a crone. And then you die. Like the dark moon?
So in honor of my 35 th birthday, and my full status as 'mother' on this wheel of life, I nearly cracked a rib on a jumpy thing while at the waterslide park.
I was in such pain the next day I considered getting x-rayed. It was a manifestation of my thought 'my body is getting old', and 'I could get 'too old' to do things'. I think our bodies communicate what is going on in our inner life. So I gave up that thought. With a change of mind and two days of anti- inflammatories (as I need to stop being so inflammatory!) my back starting feeling better. Thankfully all is well now. My body is healthy and changeable. I can feel more alive, more healthy, more joyful, and more free anytime I want. I am a rightful and proud 35 year old woman. A mom of two lovely girls,
with the best husband ever....
(here is Super Swededaddy putting up a cabinet and getting the baby to sleep at the same time, all while on vacation :)
...living on a new continent creating a new life, with two living, healthy parents, and a ton of special family and friends who called me or messaged me somehow on my birthday. And a great career behind me and wonderful opportunities before me. My heart is full of love and gratitude for all that has gone so wonderfully, wonderfully right to get to where I am now.
SwedeSister Inlaw and Brother Outlaw invited us over for a Kraftskiva/ Swedish Crayfish Party(link)- my first full Swedish summer here would have been incomplete with out it!
In my twenties I discovered that life brings you to the edge of the most joy you can possibly know, and then asks, 'Can you take it? Can you possibly accept MORE JOY?' And if you can, it comes. And so often we back down from it as we get pushed past out of our usual comfort zone. Our mind throws up blocks- you are too....fill in the blank....busy, old, needing to clean up, needing to get somewhere, needing to take care of something, not in the mood, or whatever. The mind can make up a million excuses.
We also scored some great books and dress-up gear at the barnloppis/ kid sale in Genarp on my B-day!
But at the bottom of it, is the question I used to giggle out loud with one of my best friends as we watched various and assorted miracles unfold before out eyes-- "CAN YOU TAKE IT????"-- we would laugh, and scream.
Swedegirl and her cousin at the crayfish party.
Yes, they can TAKE it!!!
The question reminds me of an image of god expressed by a yoga teacher I had who was a devote of Mother Meera. She said some thing along these lines "god is like this mother, with her arms full of all this fruit, all these gifts, and she is looking at us, all her children and wishing we would unburden her arms and just receive all the gifts she has to offer."

We stopped to nurse the baby while driving, and Swedegirl picked me some flowers from the roadside- so lovely with the reaped fields and setting sun

Thirteenth Century Sufi poet Rumi wrote about the mother-god theme as well:

Crying out loud and weeping are great resources.
A nursing mother, all she does is wait to hear her child.
Just a little beginning-whimper, and she’s there.
God created the child, that is your wanting,
so that it might cry out, so that milk might come.
Cry out!
Don’t be stolid and silent with your pain.
Lament! And let the milk of loving flow into you.

SwedeGirl and her daddy made me waffles for breakfast. Even better, there is PINK laptop in one of those gift boxes, and all the foreign films that I have not been able to watch since we moved here since LoveFilm (Swedish Netflix) does not have English language subtitles (only Swedish, Suomi, Danish, and Norwegian subtitles) on German or French movies. Very thoughtful gift!
For my 'birthday cake', we went to a Swedish Conditori/ bakery in Röstånga.

All these baked treats were gluten free, so Swededaddy and I both could have our cake and eat it too!

As pictured here: DIVINE.

So let me just say, let me register this with the Universe:


I love my life, and can't wait to see what is next.


lornadoone1972 said...

Oh i LOVED this post - and love you! Glad you had a great birthday!

Liquid Pen said...

Happy 35! What a clear, intentional post. I loved it! Thanks

Mama Bird said...

Here here! To being 35, together. Full on, full force, full-fledged adults!

PS - I got a laptop for my birthday too!

Kangaroo said...

I'm so glad you're okay--sounds like you're MORE than okay!! Happy birthday and congratulations on this present moment and using the 35 years preceding to create this path!

Toolie said...

You said this all so beautifully, Heidi....I feel so full of joy some days I could burst (and strangely enough it is sometimes simultaneous with feeling overwhelmed and harried)...I can't soak in my little darlings and my life enough. You've reminded me that I need to make my capacity for abundance and joy VERY clear to the universe--so bring it on universe---I CAN TAKE IT!!

Toolie said...

Oh...and I nominate Martin for father/husband of the year--WOW. Kelly says that picture has to be staged :) Love it!!

SwedeLife said...

T, Tell Kelly he was right only in one respect about it being staged- Martin set the timer on the camera and took this picture himself. He really did put up the cabinet with the baby in the sling. I was either sleeping or on the computer at the time. He was proud of his dad-abilties, and documented it:) He also pointed out he got the baby to sleep 4 times that day. So I got a little vacation on our vacation, too.