March 25, 2018

Swan Dive

The other day while out on a stroll along Wolseley Avenue with my young friend Gus (who is nearly three years old), he turned to me while pointing toward the heavens and said, "Megan! Look at that swan go! What a graceful bloke". It was no swan but a mere Canadian Goose making its way back to it's Northern summer home. Gus' young eye registered the grace of the driven wing and later I was so appreciative of his reminder to stop and take a moment to admire it for myself. Ahhh, the wonder of a young child in the Springtime.

I am currently employed as a nanny and housekeeper to a lovely family in the neighborhood where I live. My daily commute on foot takes four minutes door to door. No complaints there! The boys in my care are six years and nearly three. They are very active, inquisitive, challenging and delightful in equal measure. I oscillate between resenting myself for continuously finding my way back to this familiar post, feeling I should be stationed in a more "professional profession" (whatever that means) and loving the freedom to exercise my intuitive nature as a nurturer and guide to those two young souls. I try to remind myself that the work I am doing is important and not to minimize my role in their lives. In truth, my spirit longs for a child of my own to nurture in my own way. Before I swan dive into that dark corner of my soul to lick old wounds, I remind myself that Iain is my family and the life we are building alongside one another is rich. Children or no children, this home is rich in love. Still, the heart wants what the heart wants. Be patient and trust that the work that I am doing in the present is fine tuning my spirit for the future. Inner dialogue of a wanting mother.

Patience young grasshopper. This seemingly simple command that peppers many a conversation with the children in my daily life is a lot harder to apply to self. Damn it.

In other news, I have been studying to become a certified Birth & Postpartum Doula. I can't help but smile when I think of earning another certification that validates my desire to guide, champion and nurture others in their personal quest. Montessori is exactly this. My take on becoming a Doula is to mother the Mother as she performs her most intricate and difficult work of her life.

Two weeks ago I had the great honour of attending the birth of a new soul. Miss Luella Frances, welcome to this wild world you beauty you. Just like her mama who laboured hard and long to deliver her earth-side, Luella entered this world as serene as the day is long. The steady beat of her heart never wavered. It was a great pleasure to frame up the magic of her birth through the scope of Iain's enormous Pentax 67. Also in my arsenal of cameras was my trusty Nikon F2 affixed to my beloved Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4 lens passed down from my Aunty Marj (who photographed many an infant at the breast through that lens).

When my eye takes in the world through that lens, I feel connected to her spirit. Calm washes over me. My hands steady and my mind's eye connects the points of the moment that tell the tale I am looking to share. SNAP goes the shutter. Another crowning head, another shoulder emerging as the child rotates in the birth canal, another reassuring squall, another knowing smile from the mother who knew it was her all along. It is a great honour to be the person to document this flood of life, emotion, longing, connection. To photograph and observe and eventually support a woman in the family way is the work I am meant to do.

The first portrait of Luella Frances H. minutes old. March 6, 2018. 

Winnipeg, MB; March 2018
Nikon F2 / Portra 800

Mercury may be in retrograde, but the Great Melt is on and Spring is near. Hang on for dear life my faithful readers, it is going to be a bumpy decent into the warm season methinks. As my dear friend Jillian says, "Always walk on the sunny side". Amen.

Love, Madge: 31 year old Sun Seeker

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