This morning, as I lay in bed struggling to shake the dreams from my hair, Mycelia emerged from her bedroom all dressed, hair brushed, holding a special bouquet she picked and bound herself, ready for the new spring day.
What'd you do?
Well I tied a rope on to them, so that it could be a bouquet.
A bouquet of dandelions. And what's this dress you're wearing?
It is... I don't know what flowers they are. Do you?
No. Is it too big for you?
Well it's still too big for me but I don't care.
Post title taken from this:
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This winter has been the most challenging time in my life. The postpartum year or so was pretty gnarly, but fairly stable compared to what's gone on over the past three months. My partner Graham and I came thisclose to splitting up (thereby splitting our family up), we lived in a waaay too small house under the thumb of an irrational, mean-hearted landlord, we struggled every day to come up with enough money to make ends meet, and we got into some hurtful and emotional personal drama with some of our best friends.
I felt like I was drowning, kicking my way to the surface, hoping for that break in the fabric of the water where it would give way to air. We searched constantly for a new home, new jobs, we talked and talked our way through our problems and the problems with our friends. But still there was no give. Nothing was shifting, despite my and our efforts.
During my last period I did some (apparently, very strong) "magic" in my own little way with the intention of deeply grounding and strongly centering myself in order to push through the stagnation.
And then last Monday I was driving along a curvy, scary road (Highway 20 between Nevada City and Truckee) in a rain/snow storm with three and a half year old Mycelia in back. I must have been lost in thought, because suddenly I realized that I had lost control of our truck, that it was slipsliding across the wet road. I don't remember what I did, tried to get it under control I suppose. But soon I saw that we were careening toward, fishtailing in a 180, right at the dirt embankment that had been to our right but was about to be to our left. The bed of the truck clipped it and...
Next thing I knew I woke up upside down. I didn't feel fear when the car was sliding around and I didn't feel it now either. I went into pure Mommy Survival Mode. Get myself out, then get her out. She was talking to me, "Mommy I'm hurt, mommy I'm hurt" so I knew that she was alive and aware. I unbuckled my seatbelt and turned around onto the roof/floor of the truck, opened the door, and climbed out. There were already two cars pulled over with men running to help (this is how I later realized that I had blacked out momentarily). I ran around to the other side of the car to get Mycie out but it had landed at such an angle that her door was dug into the earth, and I couldn't get it open. One of the men, in his 50's at least, exhibited some serious strength by pushing the side of the truck up out of the ground and was able to open the door for me. I reached in, undid her carseat buckles, and pulled my baby outta there. She had a bruise on her left eyelid and broken capillaries all around her eyes (and carseat strap indentations on her neck), and that was it. The right side of my neck was aching a bit, but the fight-or-flight hormones prevented me from feeling all the other little hurts until later.
The cops came, the ambulance came, I tried to rescue our various belongings from the truck. The EMT's loaded us into the ambulance and took us to the hospital. On the way Mycie chided the driver Mark for going too fast on slippery roads, and told Jerry, in back with us, to sit down and put on his seat belt. She was so amazing that day, and ever since. I see no signs of trauma in her. She has said a few times since then, in the car when we're driving, that she doesn't want us to "fall down" in the car again. I have researched car accident trauma in children and she is displaying no signs of it. She and I both went to a healer friend of mine and he did find some compression in her neck that he fixed right away, and I plan to have her get some craniosacral work soon. And I will continue to listen to her when she talks about it and be open to anything she may have to express.
As for me, the bodywork I received from my friend was invaluable. I had a rib out, compression in the neck, severe pain in my right neck (diagnosed in the ER as whiplash- my xrays were fine), and achy hips. All this I knew before seeing him. But it wasn't until I was lying there on his table that the bruises on my head were discovered. Now this was less than 24 hours after the crash, and I had been going through and processing a lot in that time, but how the ache and tenderness there evaded me is a mystery. It is now, four days later, what I feel the most. And what scares me the most. Head injuries can often wait months or even years to manifest. But I feel like this is okay, just normal bruising. To be expected after one's roof has literally caved in.
After the initial healing session I called Graham, who had just been at the tow truck place and had taken these photos:
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He said that the guys there were amazed that the driver had survived. I said to him, "Just imagine if someone had been in the passenger's seat, they'd be dead for sure." The reason I thought this is because, in the picture that I am so glad I thought to take at the crash scene (at the top of this post), I thought that the front seat facing the camera was the passenger's seat. I thought this because I crawled out the other side when I came to, and I didn't remember moving to the other side of the car to get out. But Graham pointed out to me, "Amber, that is the driver's side."
Holy. Shit. And then seeing the photos he took it's like "Ohhhh, no wonder the left top side of my head hurts like hell".
In the ambulance on the way to the hospital (they had a carseat for Mycie and I had to be strapped to the stretcher) I suddenly realized for the first time... Oh my god, we were protected. We should not have walked away from that. (And this was before I had seen Graham's photos and realized how dented in the driver's side headspace was!). I just got this overwhelming bodily feeling that some spirits or something had enveloped us in a warm bubble of *just enough space* and shielded us from the severity of the impact. I mean, she has a bruised EYELID, I have bruises on both sides of my head- if the parts of the car that hit us had penetrated a half, a quarter, of an inch deeper...
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I have always had a deep affinity for whales. And it was the whales who popped into my mind first as I lay there on the stretcher fully realizing what had happened and sending all my loving and grateful energy to whatever had been there with us. It seems so appropriate. Whales are so fucking grounded they're underwater. They move slowly, with intention, in their dark worlds, sending out and receiving vibrations to give them information about their surroundings and those close to them. Waking up upside down, knowing that my whole life had just changed, was like being momentarily submerged in an underwater womb of new beginnings. One of my first thoughts, hanging there, was "something really good had better come of this".
(A friend sent me a beautiful facebook message with the subject line HEALING LOVE after seeing the photos of the crash, and it included these lines: "This is proof and a big reminder that YOU HAVE A MOST IMPORTANT AND ESSENTIAL MISSION ON EARTH AT THIS TIME. That is it. And you have a momentum of blessings coming around to you as the snap back of what you put out into the dimensions of the world.")
And man that snap back started right away and has been awesome. A few days after the crash we found out that we got the house rental we had wanted! After months of searching and trying, this is *very* exciting news.
And the settlement money! The truck was listed on craigslist at the time of the crash. I had spun out in the rain last fall as well- a rear wheel truck with a light back is dangerous, and I never felt safe in that car. But the settlement money we have just received far exceeded the price we were asking on the car (due to the payment plan the folks who sold the truck to us had been on), and we can use it to move into the new place, pay off one of our credit cards, pay off Mycie's sweet little Waldorf preschool through the year, do some serious Violet Folklore shopping (!) so that I can really start rocking the shop once we are settled, and buy ourselves a new little family four wheel drive station wagon (or two).
So all of this makes me think of a radio interview I heard with the herbalist Rosemary Gladstar a few years ago. She ended up going off on a tangent about her Saturn Return and how life changing it was for her and this horrible car accident she was in during that time. I thought about how mine was coming up and just hoped that it would not involve a car accident. Luckily for me, my injuries were far less severe than hers. But nevertheless, it was a lesson.
Okay, so even though I have to say that nearly everything I've ever read about Aquarius seems to describe me pretty accurately, and even though I have found my friend Li's astronomy/astrology wisdom 100% accurate and helpful, I am still enough of a skeptic about astrology that I wasn't so sure I even believed in this "Saturn Return".
Until now. A friend said, "It is one of the realest things I know. Let it be your teacher." To which I replied, "Oh girl, it's schooling me." I mean, there was all the struggle of the last few months, and then I literally get flipped upside down, knocked unconscious, and then awaken to a new reality. That's exactly what the Saturn Return is about, and I am certainly paying attention to what is being revealed.
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Other really positive outcomes of this include the healing of relationships that had been strained (this sort of thing really makes you realize what and who is important, and what baggage it's time to let go of), and something that was really needed for me - a deeper spiritual connection with life, the universe, and all its manifestations. All of these important things that I had moved off to the periphery of my consciousness while in stressed out survival mode this winter are now center stage - my loved ones who have passed on, the whale spirits, water spirits, and the essences of the many plants and herbs that I love but had been greatly neglecting (calendula and yarrow keep coming up especially). I feel them again, and I feel that they were in the car with us at the moment of impact.
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It's crazy to think of all the little moments and decisions that led us to be in that car on that road at that moment. Six years ago our friends purchased the truck that they would later sell to us, making sure to buy one with a good crash safety rating. One year ago my friend decided to go into the Peace Corps, and at the time of the accident I was driving home from Tahoe where I was for her going away party. That morning I had decided to go home another route due to the weather warnings, and had literally made the decision to go the way I did after all at the last possible minute before the road forked.
Which is to say, it all feels "meant to be". As soon as I came to it all just felt right. It wasn't a conscious thought, just a knowledge. Like, "Okay. It happened. It's done. We're okay. Time to take the actions necessary to move on from here." I never felt regret or fear or "Nooooo!".
And I am consciously putting it out there to the universe that I am open to all the lessons to be learned from this, to all the communication from all my little guides, to any healing that comes at me from whatever direction.
This is just the beginning. Of a new life, a new consciousness, a new connection. I have found myself again and am ready to move forward with my family into what comes next, knowing that I have love and support all around me.
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Okay, here I am wearing yet another birthday gift dress, this one from Milla, who also gave me my beautiful new Gunne! I love the crochet detailing at the neck and sleeves here and decided to offset it with the lace hem of a slip underneath.
And Miss Mycelia, who insisted we wear our blue dresses together, is wearing the most adorable vintage dress that I got for half off at the Salvation Army recently. Not only is it the sweetest print with the most precious details, but it is an I Magnin! Sasha first introduced me to this brand, which was in fact a retailer in San Francisco that catered to the hippie and bohemian tastes of the 60s and 70s. I've had many an I Magnin piece come through the shop, but had never seen a child's garment before. It fits her perfectly and I can't wait to dress her in it constantly this spring and summer.
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Now I don't know if it is a nation wide thing or just regional to the seven Salvation Army's in our area, but those stores are having the craziest sales lately. They majorly upped their prices last year but make up for it by having some sort of sale every day. The day I got Mycie's dress above I also got this one for myself. It was a "Red, White, and Blue" sale day, meaning if what you buy contains any of those colors, it's half off!
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Mycie's top here is another gift from Joanne, hand made by her grandmother in my beloved red gingham. And I must say that I am just as stoked on this dress for daily spring and summer for myself as I am for hers.
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See? Fun! Okay Mr. Sunshine, time to emerge from hibernation...