One of my favourite books about women, spirituality and growth is 'Women who Run with the Wolves' by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. I pick it up every now and then and flick through a few pages - it's kind of like visiting an old mentor to remember a lesson or hear a story again.
Yesterday, when I was revisiting the wolves, some of the words really made me think. They were 'We are not meant to be puny with frail hair and inability to leap up, inability to chase, to birth, to create a life.' And, further, 'This vitalising 'taste of the wild' comes during pregnancy, during nursing their young, during the miracle of change in oneself as one raises a child.'
I am unable to birth or create a life, and I cannot taste the wild through being pregnant or giving birth. Does that mean I am less creative, or less of a woman? I used to struggle with this a great deal. I felt a failure, I felt I wasn't whole, and I felt I didn't have anything of value that I could give that would be deeply and soulfully from me.
I still feel like this from time to time, though the feeling has mellowed.
I ask myself what my value is, what my creation can be, if not that which comes through having a child. Because I am a woman and I am creative.
So, how do I taste the wild? I look at the moon, I feel the pain that comes with menstruation, I let any anger and grief that I feel wash over me, I play and laugh with the children in my life, with my pets, with my family, I watch a spider weave its web, I bury the body of a baby bird that has fallen from its nest.
How am I creative? I write, I cook, I clean, I talk with, play with and love the children in my life, I care for my garden and my animals, I work on my marraige.
There are some women who have had children who will never even sense that the wild is there, and nor will they be more creative for having had a life in them.
And I've realised that not being able to have a child does not take the wild away from me and it most certainly does not mean I am uncreative. My way is different - that's all.
Oh, and I still love 'Women who Run with the Wolves' - it is far more than the two sentences above - they need to be read in context...