It's been a long time since I wrote again, but here I am again. Hello!
Cycles cycling, waxings and wanings, months passing, and around again.
This one I've been musing on some many moons.
And check out how many moons these raggy rag rags have been through...! It's been some time since these ones have been retired from monthly service...! I definitely made full use of them...! From 2006 I started using them sometimes, and became fairly dedicated to using almost entirely just these each month some years later, maybe 2009ish or so? And I was proudest of my dedication while travelling through Europe 17 months (on that journey this blogging was supposed to be all about which I still haven't really got to yet somehow...), using only these each time the month came round, and using initiative in washing them in all sorts of places and living situations...! I must track down the photos I took of all the places these were washed...
I have some new ones now. And one of these days I will finally replace the raggy bits on these old ones to resurrect them into service. They are still my favourites. I like the way the padding comes out so they wash and dry really well, even if the waterproof layers of more "modern" kinds does reduce risk of soak through...
So I've been wanting to share a photo of my above raggy rags, and also share, in the videos below, my monthly ritual of "making the mundane reverent", to borrow Mystic Mamma's words that conveniently just popped into my email today after I began writing this in the days before.
Thank you to my small camera person, one of my little apprentices, my little "maiden" daughters, learning to love already (I hope) the regular ritual that will one day be part of their lives once they reach menarche, rather than having associations such as those found in this study that I came upon when checking I had the correct meaning of the term menarche (commencement of menstruation), while thinking of this post and the journey from menarche to menopause via many moons in between...
I was sad to read about the study and young menstruators' experiences of finding menarche stressful, or shameful, unpleasant, or other such things, and I reflected on my own embarrassment when I was caught out by my first period arriving overnight while I stayed over at a not-all-that-close-friend's house. Her mum was kind. Phew...!
It is sort of hard work, this monthly bleeding business, sometimes. And it's hard to honour that in our world that doesn't make quite enough room for our waxings and wanings. But we can try.
Using and washing my reusable pads has connected me to my cycles more, and it has helped me grow to love the making of space and time for it, and especially making a ritual of it, which some time over that 17 months in Europe 10 years ago became itself into a song form. It's lovely to hear my small apprentice anticipating that part in the video.
She also is the source of my naming of my current phase of life, which seems related to these musings on menstruation, the time from menarche to the menopause to come; before, beyond, between... The triple Goddess maiden, mother, crone.. Even if we add a queen in there or something, it just doesn't seem to cover it for me.
I was left wondering recently when, twice in one week, I was referred to as "young lady". Indeed! The second time I responded to the quite a bit younger man (a waiter in a restaurant who bless his cotton socks did mean it only kindly and respectfully) who had seated my two "young lady" daughters, and then myself, adding "young lady" for me also because what was the poor man to say (!) with so many who might be offended to be beyond this idealised youth............ So I suppose he was surprised when I responded, "Haven't I graduated yet?" and tried to convey his intention which I hadn't misinterpreted, so I kindly let him know most would take it as a compliment but that I felt there could be something more, or something... But then what?! And I realised I did not know myself what I had graduated to...!
Thankfully dear five-years-wise-child later came to it for me. She noticed one day not so long ago that my much embraced wrinkles have formed themselves into a form of a tree trunk between my eyebrows. And so it is that "tree trunk" is what I have graduated to, for now. And don't I feel wise for it. :-) Wisdoms growing, wisdoms becoming, wisdoms to come. Can I claim that for myself? I don't know. Thankful for sharing the wisdom of my little five-years-wise-child. And also the wisdom of my little six-years-now-seven-years-wise-child too...:
To what have I graduated
I have settled upon treasuring my tree trunk times.
Not yet a crone, not sure about a queen,
motherhood bloom upon me still
even as my babes are now grown
to wiseling wildling childlings.
Let's hope they hold the wild
in their child-hood still
even though now
they are captured inside the systems
despite all my best intentions.
Still they hold truth and wisdom, joy and learning, yet.
Case in point.
Six now seven said:
"We need no competition,
we should work together."
Yes my child. Indeed.
In the ponderings following her own question
and my meandering answering
to "Mama, will saving the world ever end...?"
Way to hit me in the heart.
Where did she get that phrase?
She doesn't know herself. I asked.
We take care of the world, I said. Together, I said. Best we can.
More of us are standing up, I said
and that means our leaders
- those who hold (/hoard?!) the power -
- are listening,
- more and more, I said. (They have to. How could they not!)
We can learn I said.
We are lucky I said,
First Nations people still hold the answers
and are still willing to share,
if we listen,
how they know to take care.
She thought for a while...
Mused on all that.
"We need no competition, we should work together" she said.
Little wiseling head.
Of doing my best
To answer the tricky questions
Of life and wildling wiseling wonderlings.
Tree trunk times.
So... Video time!
So now, as I do feel the sense of my change to come some time next decade or so - echoes from the future, and as I celebrate passing forward to my young ones knowledge, care and understanding for their change to come - some time next decade or so - echoing the past; I'd like to share my rag time practicalities and also the ritual through which I embrace this time, while yet I can. For it has been rich these years of pouring the blood of my body to the earth, with dedication, and intention, of bringing nutrition and enrichment to the soil, to the earth, to the trees, to the seeds, that in turn feed me. How special and how sacred.
So... Without any further ado, two videos for you! Practicalities and Rituals for Rag Times.
The Rag Time Practicalities (easy!)
And, Rags to Rituals (also easy! and easy also to deepen further into as much as you might like...)