When I think back on this day, I remember the feeling of waking up.
Though it was a night time event, it felt like sunrise.
It had been a long winter, and I still had not found a rhythm for the new year yet. But it was well into spring, and this day was full of magic. The magic that wakes you up, and breathes fresh air into your soul. The kind of magic that creates lasting memories and emotions. The impact of which, spreads like ringlets from a drop of water.
On this day, I found my word of the year. I found direction, connection, and so much inspiration. The forest was green. The air was wet with spring rain. The space was warm and safe.
I entered the space, and was welcomed as a guest. Invited, though I was but the photographer, to partake and enjoy the riches prepared. Beads were strung, affirmations cards were lovingly made, and sharpies were passed around. There was an air of light giddiness, that was passed hand to hand as the party made its way to a table in the back. Here, candles were prayerfully decorated. Intuition led bits of glitter and flowers to adorn the glass clad candles. Snacks were shared. Intentions were set. It was a warm time of fellowship.
After they were finished, the group of women were invited to gather in a circle. Symbolic of life, of the birth cycle, of the earth, and of the womb itself. This circle was a place for hearts and hands to link. A safe space in which one could open. Let go. Let down walls, and reset systems. While we were all there ultimately, to honor this darling maiden on her journey to becoming mother, there was so much space here. Space not just to honor her, but to honor ourselves.
We were invited to open ourselves to our generational mother connections. To name our maternal lineage back as far as we'd like. To tend to the mother wound so many of us have, to acknoledge the traumas and stories that burden us in our hearts, but for the night, to lay them down and focus on the good, on the progress. To draw energy from every intentional step forward our ancestors took, that led to us being born and being here today. To honor the steps we have taken to carry that energy forward.
To hold space for another, is a beautiful act. To hold space for oneself, is vulnerable. A power lays in that vulnerability.
I had a unique seat in this house. I was not linked into the circle physically, though I did partake in many of its riches and meditations. Instead of sitting, I had the honor and the trust to observe. What I saw, humbled me and exposed me in ways that I wasn't expecting.
I witnessed each individual person here. Each of them, with their own unique light, come into this space. Each was closed off at first, in the normal way that each person you meet through a day is closed off. They wore their masks, and made their small talk. But somewhere between the sitting, and the choosing of flowers. Between some set of lines, those masks came off. They went individually, from being there, to taking up space there. From existing, to participating. They found something, each of them, in the pretty silence. In the moments. In the breath work. Something that allowed them to connect with their heart of hearts. Which led to them connecting with each other.
The transition played out on their faces and danced in the air. It brought tears, and smiles. Sorrows and griefs and hopes and dreams wove into the oxygen we collectively breathed in.
I tried to intentionally document a moment of surrender on each persons face. I thought to myself in those moments, every women, every human, deserves to have a photo of themselves in this light. In this beautiful beautiful light.
I longed for a moment, to be on the other side of the lens too.
One of my favorite things to document, was the playing out of a story told from grandmothers lips. She shared the birth story of her daughter, our honored mother to be. The emotions that lit her face, the laughter in the room, followed by the serious somber acknowledgment of how much time had passed... it was tender. A midwife herself, this grandmother felt deeply for her daughter, had flown here just to witness and assist in her daughters birth story. It was a magical bond to witness. I am so glad to have met them.
We spoke prayers and words of blessing over mother to be, anointed her and her child with love and oil. We each gave her the crystal we chose to bring. She pinned a flower to our hair.
This orange flower, is one I carry with me on my camera bag now. It reminds me of these rich gifts, these emotions. So good. So true.
I left this space having laughed, cried, shook, danced, and sung in my heart. I felt rested, and renewed. It was a beautiful ceremony.
I went on to document for this mother through other moments in her story, keep an eye out on the blog, and don't forget to subscribe so you don't miss those posts coming up.