We awoke this morning in Asheville to find there were little flakes of white falling from the sky. My son believed it to be that mythical event he has read of but never witnessed: the falling of snow. Our hostess believed it was two warm and thought it was pine pollen.
But when we stepped outside to investigated it turned out that my son was right!
My children waltzed and spun and giggled, experiencing their first fall of snow. It seemed fitting to be the beauty of the Appalachians. Eventually I pulled them away for the drive to East Bend.
East Bend is a small, rural community a few miles west of Winston-Salem in North Carolina. We got off of the freeway near sunset. I was awestruck by the golden beauty that played over the rolling hills and through the barren winter-kissed trees.
We were visiting a fellow midwife-criminal.
Her home was warm, large and everything that the word “country” conjures in the romantic brain. The wrap around porch, chickens, cats, dogs, turkeys, garden and acres and acres of land that “doesn’t contain a thing that’ll hurtcha… go run off and explore!” was a welcome sight for the heart that ached from the growing statism of the northern south.
This midwife was loud, intelligent, outspoken, passionate and brilliant as the brightest star that was shining. We stayed up late discussing midwifery politics. I picked her brain and wished I could have stayed a month or more. I could spend years learning from this sage midwife who has been a helper of women for decades.
Her faith and calm tenacity in the face of a politic that wants to see us extinguished gave me hope and courage to keep pressing forward with my skill and determination to see midwives survive and mothers reclaim their human rights in birth.
We fell asleep in a haze of that joy which makes you want to cry in its’ presence. The peace here is legendary. The protection of God rests around her doorposts and I took refuge and slept deeply and undisturbed. Healing was in the corners and quiet places and permeated even the shadows there.