[we are in the last weeks now...in the days that feel sometimes like they are playing out under water, where the voices and movements all come in slow motion and muted tones. the babe is still turning and kicking. i think that my belly can not possibly grow another centimeter...and still it does, consistently, ever allowing for the constant growth. my bones feel like they are no longer connected. i keep up with my chores throughout the day, but once the sun goes down, i cannot walk without hobbling, bent at the waist, trying to avoid putting any pressure on my right leg. my feet feel tight in my shoes. i am not wishing the hurt away; it is testimony to what the body and spirit can bear.
he is here, and i must depend on him more and more. he comes up behind me as i cook at the stove and puts his arms around my belly, holding it up against gravity for just a few moments, and there is instant relief from the pain--what one cannot manage is not too much for two. he is carrying all of us now, having to intuit where the gaps lie and fill them, smooth them over... and yet it is i--the one who has no strength left--who must rise up on that fated day and somehow find the effort to give life, and breath, and voice to that searing fire...]
"Our bodies are what we first give to each other as families--as husband and wife, in labor, in birth, and what we leave at death...In order to cherish the body--both those of others and our own--we must first recognize the inescapable fact that it will one day break down and turn to dust. This should trigger a certain urgency in us to care for one another's arms, feet, and face and to enjoy each and every stage a body passes through on its journey from birth to death.
"...Families everywhere must be fed, sheltered, warmed, and held...but in the end it is the way in which we do these everyday tasks, the spirit in which they are done, that determines the atmosphere of a family. It is the way we feed each other, bathe, groom, clothe and lay us down at night that makes a family...When a husband yells from the bathroom, 'Hey, want your hair washed tonight?' it isn't only hair that gets salon treatment, so does the whole self.
"...Families are complicated weavings of light and dark, of hurt and healing. We will hurt each other in ways we didn't intend. We will even hurt each other intentionally...but our hands can heal...anyone who lays on hands gets attached to life...unlike the mind, a body is never without sensing, even in sleep. A body will always remember" [exerpts from The Art of Family, by Gina Bria]