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While the baby naps: Out of the black abyss of winter/postpartum.
musing on mayhaps making a nap time writing practice.
Yesterday, while taking my morning walk in the blessed spring sunshine, baby strapped to my chest, I reflected on my past writing practice: I would wake before dawn, light candles and incense, say prayers, sip coffee and bang out at least 1200 words stream of consciousness style.
Those days feel like a lifetime ago.
Lately, my health has been better. I’ve taken some serious steps toward healing my nervous system, my stress response, orienting my diet towards heart health and getting back into regular exercise. With more and more sunny days filling my weather app, and waking to sunshine pouring through my bedroom window while migrating birds sing their songs, a deep sense of calm and joy returns to my body.
Each day, I wake with Orri, go downstairs, and make a quick breakfast while he plays independently on his rug. I drink my coffee, do some foot stretching, change a diaper, put the carrier on and head out the door for a brisk walk. The walk isn’t just for exercise. It’s where I breathe deep, observe what’s growing around me and soak up the sun, to help balance my circadian rhythm and get beneficial hormones moving. The effect, in turn, lowering my stress, teaching me how to regulate my stress response and lowering my blood pressure (after having severe postpartum preeclampsia — I developed severe hypertension, of which I had never had before).
So, while on my walk — which also acts as a nap-inducing routine for Orri — I realized: I can write when I get home while he’s napping! And I will write for as long as he sleeps and is calm, or until I am done saying what I’d like to say. Weave what I would like to weave. Stitch together precious, quiet moments at my standing work desk.
With spring/summer here: I feel like a mother bear, who’s emerged from her den, happy to show the world what I grew, excited to share this with my baby, feeling the restoration of the sun, the scent of conifers on the morning air. I was so deeply depressed/anxious/angry/resentful this past winter. The sun, my breath, the moment is what I am leaning into to heal and let go.
The boy wakes, and that’s a wrap.
While routine and predictability aren’t readily available to me as a mother of a young babe, maybe we can establish just a little bit of consistency here. Just a little. We shall see!
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