Being several days past my due date, I can officially say that the end of pregnancy is a very good time to practice mindfulness.
We are in a strange season of waiting, in which we know that change will be coming for certain (in the form of a little one), and yet we don’t know when it will occur. We could get stuck feeling anxious, or depressed, eager to move onto the next stage, or frustrated (those emotions have certainly been experienced in the past few weeks). Or we could take this opportunity to practice mindfulness, to be really present in this moment, to be in the here and now.
In this moment, we have prepared about as much as we can to have a peaceful birth, and to become parents afterwards. You can only prepare so much for such a huge unknown! So I am trying to practice enjoying this last season of being on our own- me and Josh. And this season where I can sleep pretty much whenever I want to, go to a cafe on my own for some journaling, go out with friends spontaneously, and so on. I am trying to remind myself that each season is precious, and to appreciate it for what it is. Each season also has its challenges- in this season, it is the waiting and the unknown. Once we have a little one, it will surely be the sleepless nights and challenges of new parenthood, but it will also have many blessings.
I am also reflecting on the ordinary miracle of pregnancy and childbirth. It is so usual, so normal, and clearly, women have been doing it for a very long time, and yet it is unique to each person who experiences it. It is one way (among many) that God invites us to become co-creators. It is a step of faith and hope, that in the midst of suffering and chaos in this world, new life is still occurring. Despite the many things that we fear in the future- from environmental crisis to terrorism, we have hope, and we step out in faith. A friend of mine wished for our baby to be “a prisoner of hope.” I echo that prayer for our baby, and for us as well.
I see this ordinary miracle reflected in spring- that before our eyes- despite the harsh, cold winter that seemed like it would never end, flowers emerge now. First the snow drops and crocuses, then the daffodils, now the tulips, and the hyacinths. Despite all that is wrong with the world, spring still comes.
How many other simple, ordinary miracles do we miss each day? A sunrise, a sunset, forgiveness from a friend, laughter of a child? We must be in the present moment to catch these miracles.
I leave you with a recent post from Inward/Outward, a wonderful place to find daily quotes and reflections on faith and life.