Those Who Gave Us Life

An adult’s hands gently resting on the bare feet of a child, on a clean white sheet. The adult and child have brown skin, and the adult’s nails are painted coral.

From where have we come,
this breath,
these fingers,
a heart that opens and closes,
opens and closes?
What is it that has made this body,
feet and legs
hair and teeth?

We come into consciousness
in the middle of the story,
the world and its vast life
reaches far before we knew
and grasps at the future
that we cannot see.

And here we are
living these days
for better or for worse.

Whatever acts of chance
occurred to bring us to birth,
whatever happenstance
laid this particular path for our lives,
in these moments
of calm and stillness
let our hearts open in gratitude
for the gifts that can be found along the way:
for love given sweet and free,
for the peace of the morning,
and the warm colours of the sunset,
for the grace of companions
and moments of ongoing birth,
as our hearts are renewed
and for those who have
offered us the gift of
no matter their age or gender:
those who have
tended and cared,
who have offered support and comfort,
who have companioned us
those who have given us life,
by birth,
or by their presence in our lives.

Recognizing the grief that often comes
with such memories,
let us open in compassion for
our broken hearts for
lost mothers,
mothers who could not love
us as we needed,
mothers who abandoned us
and especially for those whose longing
for children was never met.

In the stillness of these moments,
I invite you to speak aloud the names
of those who have given you life,
who have companioned you,
who are held in your heart
this day.