Many nights, after I read a story to my soon to be 9-year old daughter, Meera, I sit on her bed and meditate until she falls asleep. Sometimes, I tickle or scratch her back...whispering a song in her ear of how much I love her and eventually, I hold her soft, little, still child-like hand until I feel the twitch of sleep arrive, a slight tremor moving through her palm.
Tonight was different. It was late and after reading to her for a bit, I gently touched her heart and let my fingers pass back and forth very lightly, feeling her settle and turn toward sleep. As I tenderly touched my sweet child, a wave of love welled up from deep inside and consumed me. I was drenched. It cracked me wide open. I could feel the sweetness of love flowing into crevices in my heart, places that I had not previously known.
I lay next to her, hearing the rare cadence of a California summer rain pattering on the roof, feeling how lucky I am to be her mother and, how thankful I am to realize the preciousness of these moments. I feel how blessed I am to experience this quality of love, a mother’s love for her child. I also know that this moment is utterly fleeting, and I open wider to let it nourish my cells like the nectar of the gods.
I am blessed to have one child, only one, and somehow, that makes these moments of tenderly caressing her back as she drifts off to sleep precious, or perhaps, more than precious, sacred.
Feeling the softness of her skin, the fine, downy hairs on her back, I trace the outline of her shoulder blades...her angel wings. These little beings, the ones who have chosen to incarnate now, at this point in time, very likely arrive with big destinies. They come to us, just as my daughter has come to me, to be loved and cared for, so that they can do the important work that they came here to do.
Meera is here. She is here now. Right now, she and I share this life, a life where, quite often when she is with me, it is just the two of us. I am acutely aware that this chapter of our lives is limited. I know that there will come a time when she will no longer want to hang out with “just you Mama.”
There will come a time when I will bid her, “goodnight”, kiss her cheek, give her a hug and leave the room. Now, is a sweetly intimate time and, I know that it will pass. I know the time will come when she may not want me to read to her in bed each night, or where I will not have the privilege of tracing each of her ribs and her little shoulders or, of inhaling her little girl’s sweetness.
She is changing. She is growing up. She is becoming ever more herself. I honor her passage into this next stage and, I treasure this moment of intimate connection. I am bathing in the Mama love that is called forth from deep inside. I am drinking in what is here now, and letting my heart crack open wider with the depth of love I feel for my daughter on this summer’s night, tears falling down my Mama cheeks, as the gentle rain falls down upon Mama Earth.
Photo by Candace Smith Photography