Healing Has a Sound

saguaroAs we passed through Blythe, my son began excitedly asking me what the border between California and Arizona looks like on route 10. Although I have passed this way before, I have no idea. Apparently the detail never mattered.

This time it really matters.

The magical moment of crossing from a state who has held so much power over our lives into another is one to be marked by all the senses. And there all three of us sat, eyes wide open, on the edge of our seats, catapulting ourselves at 70 miles per hour toward our finish line.

Which was to become our starting point.

I imagined a wall. Like in Berlin. Or a long fence as far as the eye could see. Like the entrance to Mexico. I knew there would have to be a checkpoint somewhere. I shivered to think that just a couple months earlier I would have been arrested there. I would have been arrested anywhere outside of Los Angeles.

My phone buzzed in my lap and I glanced around for police before tapping to see who the text was from.

“How are you liking your new freedom?” the text begged. I replied quickly that I was five minutes from finding out.

My son opened the oversized atlas on his lap and began loudly announcing the miles. We had driven over 200 miles.  My daughter sat silently in the back seat where she had been silently reading through most of the trip across the state we had all been born in. Happy to be in her introverted bubble, surrounded by the possessions that crowded around her. We had far less now than we had ever owned together. My key chain held ONE key and it was in the ignition.

Freedom came at the price of homeless unemployment. I was getting us out by the skin of my teeth.

We were passed by many other moving trucks and cars packed with possessions. One car even had a mattress tied to the top. It seemed like so many people escaping or maybe I was just projecting.

And then there it was… the checkpoint on the California side. I looked for one on the Arizona side but saw none. It was wide open and oddly… greener. In front of me was a river with a bridge running over it. In the middle of the bridge was a small, unassuming sign: “Arizona State Line.”

As we passed over it there was a noise that escaped me that scared me and embarrassed my children. It was an odd kind of scream/cry. Like a desperate bird taking flight. There are tears that are so deep they cannot be seen. Those tears rise up like oil in your throat and betray the façade of normalcy so desperately displayed.

“Sayonara, citrus s*%t!” my son hollered.

My daughter resumed her reading after a simple sigh.

As the sun set, the full moon rose above the eastern Arizona desert mountains. The saguaro stood like ancient sentinels to remind me of all the free people who have passed them by for so many centuries. A brooding ballad played over the radio. The singer crooned about freedom. And just as she did a shimmering, blue star shot through the inky black sky and fell to earth.

I made a heartfelt wish that a home, warmth, liberty and love awaited us on the other side of this long road we had just begun.


About supportmidwifekatiemccall

Katie McCall was born at Pomona Valley Hospital in Southern California by scheduled c-section as a frank breech due to the current medical system insistence that breeches should always be delivered that way. Katie's father's family was filled with teachers, her mother's family was filled with healers. It is no surprise then, that she went on to have her own two children and spend her adult life involved in a combination of teaching and healing through midwifery, childbirth education, doula work and serving families in Southern California. Katie attended USC for her general education and then went on to study with the American Academy of Husband Coached Childbirth to become a certified childbirth educator. Shortly thereafter, she certified as a birth doula (labor assistant) with the Association of Labor Assistants and Childbirth Educators. Katie was also mentored through a pregnancy and birth support business called The Birth Connection in Glendale, CA, which Katie later purchased and expanded to include a 1500 square foot education facility, retail store and birthing center. She enrolled in midwifery school and apprenticed with the midwives who ran the birth center as well as with midwives who attended homebirths. She sold her business to pursue her midwifery education full time in 2006 and passed her midwifery (NARM) exam to become a Certified Professional Midwife in 2008. She went on to gain her Midwifery License from the State of CA Medical Board in 2010. Katie has received supplementary education in lactation to become a lactation educator, vaginal birth after cesarean support, support of sexual abuse survivors, aromatherapy and is neonatal and CPR certified. She assisted over 500 couples through childbirth education and attended over 550 births as of 2011. As a Southern California native, she has a wide range of experience, serving mothers from diverse backgrounds. She believes her job is one of empowering women to develop their own trust and connection with their bodies and their babies during their own unique journey into motherhood. If she has learned anything through her experience with birth, it is that every birth is as different as the women who are laboring. On August 17th, 2011 Katharine “Katie” McCall, a licensed midwife, was convicted of practicing medicine with out a license for a 2007 birth she assisted as a student. The charge arose from a home birth where Katie's supervising midwife could not arrive because she was at another birth. Instead of leaving the family to birth unassisted, Katie stayed. She recommended that the family transfer to the hospital and the family refused. They were aware that she was only a student midwife and that she was unable to secure an overseeing mid
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2 Responses to Healing Has a Sound

  1. jessemathewson says:

    I do love this state- and definitely feel much more free than I ever have.

  2. Ellen says:

    Came across this in my Facebook “memories” reminder of previous posts because I had posted a link to this blog. I am impressed again by how well this is written, how poignant the observations, and the oddly melancholy yet hopeful tone expressed, all of which make this entire blog a very worthwhile read.

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