“Slipping through my fingers all the time
I try to capture every minute
The feeling in it
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Do I really see what's in her mind
Each time I think I'm close to knowing
She keeps on growing
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Sometimes I wish that I could freeze the picture
And save it from the funny tricks of time
Slipping through my fingers all the time”
“Slipping Through My Fingers” - ABBA
I love this song. It provides a beautiful picture of a mother watching her daughter grow through the years – changing all the time. And it echoes just how quickly childhood goes, especially from the perspective of an adult watching a child grow.
If I had been blessed with a daughter I would have wanted, as much as I could, to teach her to be spiritually and physically strong, to be comfortable in her self and her skin, and to dare to follow her own path. I would have wanted to celebrate the milestones that come with passing from one stage of her life to another. One of the most important rites of passage that I would have liked to celebrate with her would have been her first cycle of menstruation.
Does that sound crazy? After all, a woman’s monthly periods can be annoying, painful, and can sometimes get in the way of life – such as stopping a woman from going swimming or wearing light coloured pants! What is there to celebrate?
There is much to celebrate. In many tribal cultures a woman’s first cycle is celebrated with rituals, with the gathering of women (mothers, grandmothers, aunts, female friends) to share advice, stories, and women’s wisdom. In the West we have lost that. The natural monthly cycle of a woman has been relegated to something that is annoying at best and abhorrent at worst – and definitely something to keep hidden away. I have even heard stories of girls believing they are dying when their first cycle began because they knew nothing about menstruation. It saddens me.
Obviously I don’t have a daughter and so I can’t organize a celebration for her with a group of women who are important to her. I can’t give her a gift from me to commemorate her change from a little girl to a young woman.
But, I do have many nieces, and one has recently started her menstrual cycle. I decided that I could do part of what I wanted to do for my own daughter for her. I wrote her a letter and I bought her a blue moonstone pendant.
|Blue moonstone pendant|
The pendant and photo is from Village Silversmith on Etsy.
I chose the moonstone because there is an amazing connection between women and the moon that many people do not know about. The moon’s cycle, and most women’s cycles, are 28 days long. Many women will find that their period begins on or about the new moon or the full moon, and ovulation will occur on or about the new moon or the full moon. Unfortunately, because we use artificial lighting now, some women will find this is not true for them. There are “researchers” who deny that this link exists between women and the moon, but I don’t really care what their “research” says. I know it to be true for me and many others. And the ancient Greeks were onto it – the word menstruation comes from the Latin words menses (month) which comes from the Greek word mene, which means moon. So someone at some time realized there was a connection between women and the moon.
Well – now that I’ve explained all that I’ll get to the real meaning of this entry. I don’t have a daughter, and I can’t do the things that I hoped to do with her. But I do have other children in my life that I can do these things, albeit adapted, with – such as giving the pendant to my niece and sharing some thoughts I have on menstruation.
I could give up and not do anything because I don’t have my own daughter, but I’d rather look at what I do have. I have so many opportunities to be in the lives of these precious children and to support them and share stories and wisdom (what I have thus far anyway) with them, and encourage them to share their stories and wisdom too. I’m very fortunate.
I just got a text from my niece thanking me for the pendant…she is my smart, wise, funny, and beautiful niece.
I don’t have a daughter, but I still feel the meaning of the song “Slipping through my fingers” when I think about my niece and the many other wonderful children in my life.
I’ll finish off with two more lines from the song…
“I'm glad whenever I can share her laughter
That funny little girl.”