This is a story of a woman, (many women perhaps) who finds herself at a crossroads in life after her womb no longer cycles.
‘Mahmi’ – A Woman’s Journey Home, by Moana Pearl
But Freedom arrived suspiciously resembling an echo of an empty room with a neatly drawn on smile. A solid Void, impossible to step over it, or through it,; there was nothing she could DO. A heavy weight sat on her chest, was this the long awaited promise at the end of devoted decades of her career in mothering? Where was the applause, the award, the flower lined pathway to the celebration dance?.
Freedom arrived with her consort, Fear, as she always did at times like these. Paralysing fear, steadily draining her confidence like a leaky sink plug. The forever generous, nourishing and colourful Mother that had entered her with the birth of her first child had quietly departed in the black suitcase of her youngest adult child when he left home. Gone. Mother’s job done.
A distant and hopelessly optimistic voice inside insisted a new birth was brewing now, but these days it felt as though the heat was turned up like a threatening volcano.
So she left, empty, to seek open skies, to wander in the nothingness of dry and deserted places, to yell in canyons where no voice answered back. Not at a languid, life-cherishing pace, but a slow and desperate pace that called out to whichever Goddess might know how to navigate this unnameable landscape. This was an inward journey, every step spiralling in to the unknown.
The sun scorched the land into a haze. This afternoon she would rest and put her feet up. Thick black thunder clouds rolled in from the west, tall and righteous. In the distance was a large rock formation, maybe an hour away, she would find shelter there. She walked on, natural, enduring. Clouds dipped lower, the storm tasted thick in the air. At first big plops of water fell like giant tears , quickly followed by lashings, sheets of water turning parched land instantly to mud.
Her wet clothes clung to her warm body as she ran the last few minutes to the rocky outcrop. Soaked, breathless, she crumpled down, relieved, exhausted. She sat motionless staring out at the loud grey drumming down, empty of thoughts, a silent witness like the rocks, sitting here for millennia. There would be no more walking today, Rain held back the thought of time, though darkness came to herald night. When the quiet settled into her she turned to look for a place to lie down.
She took a candle out of her bag and lit it. At her age it took several minutes for her eyes to adjust to the shadowy cave behind her. One small flame made the cave’s light a stark contrast to the wet black night outside.
The wild and protective figure was woven of vines and plants and fabrics. Her pendulous breasts told of babies long grown and gone, her arms were made for embrace, full and round, and her head was open to the sky.
She was made from the elements, sun, earth, water, air, objects once alive now stationary and dry. Between her solid thighs her yoni was a seed pod, a vessel and transmitter, a bringer of the future and an ancient voice of the past. The Goddess figure was surrounded by altars of medicine dolls, baskets, feathers, rocks, and bones.
Now instinct, ancient memory and earthly wisdom stirred in her womb, a profound knowing,: she had come to pay homage, to be nourished, to seek that which is sacred and secret in Woman. This was an abandoned sacred women’s site, yet she never felt she was trespassing. She felt she was Home, connected to all the many women who had come and would come to this place. She lit the other candles on the altars.
Shadows faded and clarity sharpened her inner and outer vision. Fear waited at the cave’s entrance, wet and powerless, but hungry for the soul food of this place. Was this an illusion, a delusion, too many moons walking alone, or was she privy now to a vision of her own inner world, untamed and raw, intricate and prayerful, the place where all those seemingly empty moments at home had woven themselves into meaning, richness, and communion with the Earth?
There was no longer a need to understand, be understood, or make sense. Days passed. Awakened in a realm of knowing beyond words, she stayed for the healing. She dreamt in whispers. She left her hair as an offering.. When a rosy pink sunset revealed a new sliver of moon she knew the time had come. She kissed the Goddess goodbye, bowed her head to the Earth and walked out into the night. Stars hung like jewels from the sky. Freedom was in her bones.