This was written for my friend Marlis over a month ago, right now she battles for healing after a second surgery:
Since I live so faraway from many people that are dear to me, I have created a tradition that in times of labor I light a candle for the women I love as they labor their children so mightily and lovingly into the world.
The burning flame reminds me of the intensity that it takes to grow a child in your womb and then courageously when the time is right ,release he or she into this big wide world. It is a task and a process in which I am familiar, in which I can emotionally imagine the feelings of excitement and fear and awe as you finally see your baby slip into the world.
It is tonight I honor with my burning flame a woman whom I have known since age twelve, who has grown into an amazing , wonderful, vivacious, witty and wise woman.
The news came in the early hours of morning here in Honduras as I brewed coffee extra dash of creamer and lit every candle in the house. It was as the sky turned pink with signs of morning that I sat clutching my mug and imagined her body raging with this wonderful little girl making her way to us.
I'm in awe of my friend tonite as write, not just her hard work today in the birthing chamber, but it's the woman she is and the friend she has been to me, that I have spent time reflecting on!
She once described me this way;
"Mostly she is the fire one seeks to calm and comfort oneself in quiet darkness. She is the fire that is impassioned, radiant, deep and rich."
Tonight, as I think of her with her baby girl curled up in her arms, this is how I imagine her. This is what she offers to others that she so generously loves.She indeed is the fire,the deep , the radiant, the impassioned!
My candle burns for my dear friend tonite!