It's 4:30 am. It's a dangerous thing to do...staying up all night while "waiting for a birth". My client is a day from her due date and I found myself compelled into a double feature until 4 am this morning! But the nourishment I was receiving from these simple and powerful messages as I curled up on the couch with a cup of tea seemed better than sleep!
I returned home last night to a How to Cook Your Life -- a gentle lesson in "BEING" presented by Zen Master Edward Espe Brown in Filmmaker Doris Dorrie's exploration of the Buddhist saying "you are what you eat" to explain the guiding principles of Zen Buddhism as they apply to the preparation of food and life itself.
Being a doula often requires just that...BEING. But much of our efforts to bring women the best possible care are often thought to be in DO-ulaing. Which "trick should I pull out of my tool bag? Position? Massage tool?" Yet we know that being present to her every contraction, every moment, offering her privacy and comfort....Hold her hand, breath, rub her back, breath, smile, breath, murmur encouragement, breath....This is the practice of being a doula.
Set in a lovely mountain retreat in California, Zen Master Espe Brown reminds us of the holiness and power of these simple acts of being present to the nourishment all around us. Whether it's baking bread, slicing carrots, washing pots or offering pie to children...these simple acts are truly the domain of what Mother's and doulas "do" too.
It's now 5 am and I can see the first pink light in the sky illuminating the stars, the moon and the tallest trees outside. I feel called to action. I feel excited to think that in farming at least, we are reaquainting ourselves with local, sustainable and organic tools. That means their is hope for birth too. If Safeway now can carry an Organic line of food...well then maybe...just maybe...we will consider that the way that is safe to birth babies in this next generation will be through Organic Birth.
****For more on The Farmer and the Obstetrician see Michel Odent at the 2009 Midwifery Today Conference.