The words below take my breath away. Every time I read them (and, trust me, I’ve read them several times). But this comes as no surprise, as everything that Tara from Pohlkotte Press writes is absolutely breathtaking. She chooses the most stunning words and weaves them together in a way that takes me on the most peaceful journey through the beautiful, ordinary moments of life.
If you have not yet met Tara, prepare to be spellbound. Read below and then be sure to visit her at her place. I am certain that you will become addicted to the flow of her words and the heart behind them.
Today, I am so honored to share this piece with you that Tara wrote about her mother body. It so beautifully describes the wonder that is growing-into-a-mother.
There are so many ways that my children have grown me. My son, constantly pushing me to deeper understanding by the complex questions he asks. Never is surface enough for him- he thrives in the details, the “whys”, the “hows”. When he laughs, I know that stars do too. Bits of the heavens break open when he smiles. And my daughter, has grown me in her connection to the present. To the hot passionate moment of now. Listening to her heart beat is listening to the pulsing undercurrent of this world. That warm flow moving humanity forward until the plates of this old earth groan under the shifting weight of progress.
Long gone are the days when perfectionism ruled me. The “then” me had time to care about appearance, impressions, the surface of things. Now, I’m happy to have arrived anywhere remotely on-time, I only consider changing if I can’t scratch off the dried food stain on my shirt with my chipped nails, the 4-year-old administered glitter manicure needing to be redone. I will welcome you into my home gladly – if you have a good high step to avoid toy piles and pick and roll to make it past cascading laundry baskets.
And motherhood has grown me in other ways too… ways that make me uncomfortable for just how much I’ve “grown”, ahem. But I am learning there is beauty and truth here in my mother-body:
As I lay with my son, tucking him in for the night, he tells me “you are the perfect kind of soft.”, and as I laugh away his remark telling him that perhaps mama shouldn’t be so very soft, he looks up at me startled and says, “don’t lose all your mama”; I realize they’ve grown me into to seeing myself more fully in this way too…
The awkward full of my height that was reached at age twelve;
somehow does not look as precariously far from the ground on me as it did then.
Those once gangly, string bean arms, that flailed about in excitement;
wrap perfectly around car seats to serve a juice box, find a lost toy or retrieve a fallen blanket.
A belly, then scooped half moon in, waiting for the full of my life to begin;
now has seen the swell of life harbor inside me twice, soft now from the remembrance.
Oh, those dancer legs that went from here straight to the sky, the gate of steady determination;
have now carried the weight of sleeping babies, paced slow miles into the rugs around their beds
weary, tired, but they’ve never failed me.
Hipbones that were hard, angular, decisive;
now have been worn smooth by lessons that sharp and strong should never be chosen over gentleness and love, releasing control to allow life to softly guide you
That youthful voice, so sure, loud with proclamations, ready for battle cries to move mountains;
lives now within the power of hushed tones, traded in soapboxes for lullabies,
knowing I change the world through the truth I whisper in their ears.
Hands that used to grasp for self-purpose, ambitious dreams;
now are extended to steady first steps, calm fears,
wipe away the physical traces of sadness, clap wildly with pride.
This heart of mine wasn’t used as openly then.
I kept it apart from others, cautious of it becoming worn, storing it away for when I was sure I needed it;
It bleeds and beats freely now, sometimes too quickly, but has learned one will never run out when you don’t try to limit love.
I store this wisdom in my very bones
lessons housed beneath my very skin.
This, my mother body.
About Tara Pohlkotte
Tara currently tells her stories of life, as she discovers it, at her personal blog: www.pohlkottepress.com where she writes down the holy found steeped in ordinary, beauty found in the dirt of life’s trenches. She is a contributing author for two current Civitas Press titles: Finding Church: Stories of Leaving, Returning, Changing and Transforming and Soul Bare: Reflections on Becoming Human set to release November 2012 and February 2013. She loves to read, play cards, dance wildly, people watch, scribble poetry on the back of coloring pages, and spend the weekends in sweatpants with her family.