every now and then, a woman in counseling will tell her story in words so compellingly true that i am spellbound. it happened earlier this week when a woman i shall call glorietta began by telling me how her last baby was accidently born at home with little warning. she stood up and felt the baby sliding down her leg. she and her two other children were transfixed, did not utter a sound, even after their silence was broken by the newborn's wailing. eventually the older child called 911 who sent paramedics to cut the cord and take mother and baby to the hospital. that baby is less than a year old. glorietta, aged 39, was outraged to find that her body was betraying her, she said, by getting pregnant again so soon. anyhow, she said, she is just done with having babies; she told me that she is tired, over the thrill of the miracle of pregnancy, just wanted this pregnancy out, and was not sharing her body with anyone, not her uterus, and, as she said, not her tits either. she was just done, over it. her body was having none of it!
glorietta's wisdom of the body is as old as the human race. women have always known when it is, or is not, a good time to bring forth new life through their bodies, and she had no doubt, did not have to think about it because her body was telling her. in earliest recorded time, and certainly even before that, women ended pregnancies that should not be born, whether because of war, drought, famine, disease, or, of course, age. there was a rightness to it because they were closer to the earth than the primarily urban dwellers that we are. now the plants and herbs that women used for that purpose are lost to us since we relinquished our natural wisdom and "medicalized" pregnancy.
but for glorietta, the message was clear. her words of summation to me were, "it's just like the leaves of a tree. when it's time they just shed."