Wednesday, July 29, 2009

100 things #40 I never heard of a blessingsway until I decided to give one ...

for my daughter this past weekend.




The months of anticipation when you are waiting for the arrival of your first grandchild is an exciting time for most women, I know it has been for me. I was reading about what a scary time it can also be as we watch our daughters become subjected to the ways and fears of modern day science. They are tested and probed and encouraged to research and prepare for something to go wrong. so ...




I gathered some of the women in Mandy's life together at 10 am, the morning of her shower to draw upon some of the rich traditions of other cultures that tend to focus more than ours does on offering comfort, confidence, strength, courage, knowledge and a sense of community to a new mother in their immediate circle.

We sang several American Indian songs to Mandy and with her ...






Many Indian tribes drum and sing to celebrate during a significant rite of passage.




Karen, Becky and I already knew several songs that were appropriate to welcome a new mother





the two of them practiced and practiced for a couple of weeks until they were able to lead them in front of our group.



We told stories ... in almost every culture storytelling is a way of sharing wisdom. We each told stories of parenting, birthing, bonding and stories of motherly love and strength ... in hopes of helping Mandy focus on some of her fears, hopes, dreams, worry, and expectation of bringing a baby into the world.





We laughed until we cried




We pampered to offer comfort to the new mother, we soaked her feet in rosewater ...


I brushed her hair the way I did when she was a little girl




then placed a beautiful headpiece of pink roses on her head ... Thank you for the roses Larry




We asked Mandy to take a deep breath to release some of the tension from all the worst case scenario training she has been focusing on and invited her to listen to her own heart, to her own intuitive wisdom as well as the collective wisdom of the women who have come before her.






I shared a traditional african prayer ... Let us take care if our children for they have a long way to go ... Let us take care of our elders for they have come a long way ... Let us take care of those of us inbetween for we do the work ... Welcome to the inbetween Mandy.






In many Eastern cultures it is tradition to paint henna on the belly to protect and bless the new mother during her delivery ... we intended to paint henna on Mandy's belly until Karen read the directions of the belly henna kit I bought and sent me this e -mail ... Did you read all of the instructions? You have to mix some, wait 12 hours, add something else to the mix and wait another 12 hours. Then wait some more. Then you need to mix sugar and lemon juice to cover it and seal it while you are waiting for it to dry. After the seal is applied, you need to cover the application with gauze and saran wrap for about 4 to 5 hours until the color sets. Then you have to put the oil on it and rub the Henna off. Then she is not to get it wet for 24 hours. Do you really want to do this?


Obviously the morning of her baby shower is was not the right time to henna her belly so we didn't.




We waited until the party at night to do the blessing beads ... each person at her shower choose a special bead and gave Mandy a wish for the Baby as they strung their bead on the necklace. Mandy love, love, love, love loves that necklace and knows exactly who gave her which bead and exactly what they said as they gave it to her.




And as tradition in every culture there was food ...






I didn't know what a blessingsway was a few weeks ago but I was sure able to pull one off in style with the help of my family and friends.

Then came the party ...









7 comments:

DB said...

Coy, what a great party and what a beautiful girl. I'm smiling.

DB

Mortimer said...

That was fun!

Barbara said...

What a beautiful post! It brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for sharing.

Peace!

Silver said...

Wow, Coy. How lovely! And she is so pretty!

~Silver

Elisabeth said...

Thoroughly enjoyed reading this entry...what a lovely party...thanks for sharing, Coy, and Many Blessings.

Judith HeartSong said...

what a beautiful and loving gift to your daughter.

gigi said...

What strikes me most about these pictures is what a joyful space you've created for this lovely ceremony! The feminine energy in the room is palpable and beautiful.

I have never heard that African prayer ~ it is wonderful.