“Roots down. Down into the belly of mother earth.” Brows drawn low. Mouth folded into a perfect prune of indignation. I long to push aside her tangled hair and smooth those deep grooves in her her forehead, but I don’t dare. Those lines etch my own face. It’s agony to see them taking shape on a six year-old.
“Again,” I say, stunned by the calm in my voice. “Again. We do roots down. And we reach into the belly of the earth where all the quiet energy is.”
It seems to take several lifetimes to get her to rise and plant her feet into bathroom tiles.
(This is why I do all this healing training. This is what all that damn meditation is for. This time, I swear to myself, I will not lose my shit.)
“Now, branches up.” At this point, little sister has joined the fun. At least someone is reaching their arms to the sky with me! “Come on, big girl. Reach up to the stars and ask the angels to help you.”
We get there. It happens. She reaches up her arms and she’s almost ready to smile.
It’s time to find all the love in her acorn heart when…
I’m not even sure what happened next. This was only yesterday, and I all remember was a second flash flood of tears washed away our carefully planted tree. It doesn’t matter. The Moira tree was back on the floor and I was wondering if it was ethical to give her a blanket and let her cry herself to sleep curled up next to the bathtub.
But then I remembered what all this spiritual practice is really for. It’s for helping you spot miracles when you’re ready to spit nails.
A ladybug. A ladybug on the sole of my slipper.
Through her tears, Moira noticed it. She smiled at the sweet summer spirit that was taking refuge with us through the long winter.
Legend has it that ladybugs were sent by Mother Mary to save the fields from plagues of aphids. At our house, ladybugs are sent by my mother who passed in 2010.
For at least a few moments every day, I mourn that I don't have a mom to help me figure out how to mother. The grace comes in the moments when I see how wrong I am. Helping my daughter navigate all those big feelings... it's not all up to me. There is literally support coming out of the woodwork.