I will admit; I caught the writers block. Sorry about that. I also caught 17 babies since we last spoke, so don’t feel completely guilty for stringing you along.
But, (but!) I am almost finished walking this long road of becoming a midwife. Four more days, two eight-hour exams, and this part of the journey closes off for good. This path of focus where two days of snow-shoeing, or a quick ski jaunt up-island, or tea with a good friend feels like the most delicious luxury in the entire world.
Midwifery school forces one to compromise. The idea that midwifery is not a job, but a lifestyle, sounded romantic when I applied to the program. It was tough to execute. I struggled. I struggle still. It was especially tough on the people around me who had to learn with me to accept this new unpredictable pattern of life. But this act of being in the moment- of making the sacrifice of knowing that at any second you may have to run fast from your lover’s arms or away from your best friend who needs you- to answer the call of birthing women in the depth of the night (some weeks all the nights), makes one strong. I am grateful for how midwifery forced me to solidify, to throw out everything that wasn’t central to survival, to trust my own wisdom and intuition. For this I am so grateful, and so happy. Grateful for all those beautiful babes born into my arms, and lucky for this work of supporting women and families to make informed choices into parenthood that work best for them.
But, I will admit I have developed a strange disconnect from being out of balance for so long. An unwanted sense of uni-self. I am thirsty for art, the freedom to play in the kitchen instead of focusing on maximizing protein intake in case I am suddenly trapped in the hospital and don’t eat for a week, thirsty for the freedom of long-runs, of boat-trips, and the pleasure of my banjo and a mellow singalong.
Tonight I went for a walk along the ocean. I am in a study retreat on Pender Island; it is warm and dark outside. We left our headlamps at home, and trundled along with only starlight to guide us. We could hear frogs and smell fresh honeysuckle. There was not a pager or cell phone in sight. Being a midwife instead of becoming a midwife is happening. This week! All these years, and the moment is here. There is so much possibility for panic.
Yet, in the calm of the gulf island night, buoyed by the warmth of good study partners, big group breakfast, and a cozy wood stove, I might be ready to let go of some of the fear that has been keeping me from writing these past months. Whether I am ready for solo practice or not, this is now. The now to unfurl, open-up, and (hopefully) allow for spring.