Ancestral energy lives in the stars above us, the stones beneath us. Their memory gathers in oceans, rivers and seas. It hums its silent wisdom within the body of every tree.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Daughter of Margaret, Revisited

I am Sarah.
daughter of Margaret,
daughter of Patricia,
daughter of Margaret,
daughter of Eliza,
daughter of Mary, of Ireland.

That is what I know of the line of my mothers’ mothers. Five generations, three names who have passed. The line of my fathers’ fathers stretches for twenty-five generations, and further yet unverified, like so much of our history. But in a world where an unbroken line of fathers is given power, what of the mysterious unknown line of mothers? It was important for me to pay homage to the silent women of history, to the broken lines of voices that seemed unimportant to the passing of time. Blood matters. It was important for me to find the unbroken branches of mothers birthing daughters.
If you think about water as life, there is all of this energy pouring down into me, from mother pushing daughter out of her uterus to mother pushing daughter out… What will I do with that energy? That gift? This life? How will I use it? How will I honor the mothers who came before me?
It’s the crux of this journey I’m on. At the moment, it’s with my voice, it’s with this blog. The strength of those who came before me trickles down through me and as I share my discoveries of and journey into the spirit world, it filters out into the larger world. I do it for all of my nieces and my nephew, for my great-nephew, for the children whose lives I have become part of. I do this so those who come after me might find their way more easily.

I am Sarah,
the first daughter born of Margaret,
the only daughter born of Patricia,
the third daughter born of Margaret,
the third daughter born of Eliza,
the fourth daughter born of Mary Dowd,
Mary, born of an unknown mother in Ireland.

My mother taught me independence, taught me to listen to my voice as best she could in a society that once tried to silence women. My mother made it possible for me to be open to this path I am on. My mother is the gateway to all my mothers. But we can follow the path of mothers, all of us, back to the earth, back to the primal mother, back to where all of our energy originates.
I tend to her in the summer, coaxing food from her soil to nourish myself with. I grow flowers to feed the squirrels, birds and bees we share the land with. I clean the garbage from her flesh as I stumble across it. As much as possible I reuse what I have used and I allow her areas of wild to stay wild and untainted.
I make altars with her bones to mark the earth, in parks and woods. I do it in the name of my mothers, in the names of those unknown, in honor of those I have loved. I know even as I do it, that someone else will happen upon them. That someone will find them and see them with new eyes, and what I created will be reborn with new meaning and new purpose as part of someone else’s journey.

Sleeping In the Forest
by Mary Oliver

I thought the earth remembered me, she
took me back so tenderly, arranging
her dark skirts, her pockets
full of lichens and seeds. I slept
as never before, a stone
on the riverbed, nothing
between me and the white fire of the stars
but my thoughts, and they floated
light as moths among the branches
of the perfect trees. All night
I heard the small kingdoms breathing
around me, the insects, and the birds
who do their work in the darkness. All night
I rose and fell, as if in water, grappling
with a luminous doom. By morning
I had vanished at least a dozen times
into something better.

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