The Pregnant Pause

Pregnant pause. Noun. A pause that gives the impression it will be followed by something significant.

If I was able to pinpoint a theme for 2013, it would contain the above description. Yet, definition doesn’t feel like an entirely honest thing to do, since just exactly what happened this year is difficult for me to wrap my arms around, to truly know. I am also aware that whatever is turning over itself within the case of germination, deep under the ground, is not quite ready to begin unfurling.

Rose Hips, Bog Trail, San Bruno Mountain

Even though I feel restless, and often bored or frustrated, I am clear that I am still being asked to Wait…even if I don’t know who is doing the asking. Call it stuckness from an outside perspective, call it a Saturn transit from the cosmically minded, call it a lull, call it dead at sea, call it what you will. It doesn’t come when it is called. As a friend reminded me yesterday, if you keep stirring the waters, all you end up doing is muddying the view with silt and muck.

Seed heads of Self Heal, Bog Trail, San Bruno Mtn.

One thing about growing older is that little wisdom bit you’ve heard rumors about. In this case, it is the wisdom to not buy into the voices that whisper that things may be one way or the other, especially a bad outcome sort of other. Its the wisdom of being on to yourself, of knowing your old tricks and the way they don’t work. Most of all lately, it’s knowing the wisdom inherent in hard work.

Transmutation of unknown origin.

When I was in highschool, I had this AP American Politics teacher who told me repeatedly that it wasn’t enough to have a fine mind, that I needed to apply it. In other words, he was very politely telling me I was a bit lazy.

Lazy like I just want to swim around in hazy beauty.

Although the last ten years or so have seen me relinquishing my former idealistic self, I still, at heart, am a dreamer. Which is a very fine thing to be. But it must be tempered with action, with the excruciatingly slow work of pulling the vision down to earth. At 41, all the truly difficult bits that I have dodged now stand in my path in their form as gigantic boulders. I sure as shit am not turning around and going back the way I came, and I’m also not foolish enough to step off the trail and go following the will-o-wisps that tug on my heart with their whispers of the happily ever after life.

Crimson blackberry bramble.

I had a wonderful visit over the weekend with an old housemate and dear friend. As the talk wound its way around to where we have been and where we are going, one sentence struck me like a bolt of lightening. We swallowed this load of bullshit, he said, that if you follow your bliss and strive for a professional life with no compromises, that the world would become your oyster. In that moment I recalled countless conversations around the table, filled with angst of the mid-20s, around how to create the life we dreamed of. Irregardless of our respective successes, in that crystal clear moment we both knew that we’d been duped. The privilege of 90’s new age idealism crushes easily under the boot of current realities.

Life stages of Yarrow.

Bliss will come to you by following Your True Path. What they don’t tell you, is that when it arrives, it may look so different from what you were expecting as to be unrecognizable.

Red Columbine just might be bliss, recognizable.

A carefree life becomes the wish of a child who didn’t understand the capacity of her own heart.

In the Annadel Woods

I am peering up the mountain of 2014 and feeling grim determination. It’s not an unhappy feeling, but I’m well aware it’s also not the Big Rock Candy. There are hours to turn in, tests to take, licensure to obtain. There is schooling for my daughter and (hopefully? dear effing lord, hopefully) relocation. There is further professional development and here come the Seven Dwarves. High ho, high ho, its off to work I go with this little pick axe of responsibility and vision, forging new neural pathways and accomplishing the previously unimaginable.


I’m looking forward to the hike, and here are some of the things I am scattering beside the path for myself.



A reminder that I am magic. All this focus on work and career development too easily follows the mainstream pattern of No Fun Seriousness and leads me into the closet of hum drummery. If the path gets too linear, I am stepping off to the side into a a labyrinth.



I don’t trust will-o-wisps, but I promise to recognize a guide when I catch a glimpse of one.


I intend to develop my inner CEO, but this is no pyramid scheme. My business man will, at all times, take its guidance from the Queen of Hearts and her ally, Wild Intuition.


I will look for help and inspiration from unexpected places and I will continue to build my world with sustainable bio mimicry.

I am opening my heart a little wider, to make room for friendships that look unlike any that have come before, to allow previously unmet parts of myself to be found, by others and also by ME. So I will sprinkle in a few unexpected alliances along my way this year.

I am giving myself permission to stop waiting for the other shoe to drop, and to trust that even if it does, that I will not be Little Red who gets eaten by the Wolf, but rather a girl who throws off her cloak and changes the mythology.

And always, to take time to rest.

Change is yet to come. I pause here in the fertile darkness to extend my very warmest wishes for a Happy New Year. May you all find yourselves as your favorite character in the best narrative story you’ve ever dared dream.

Love to all.


5 thoughts on “The Pregnant Pause

  1. For such a skilled story-teller as your sweet self, it should not be hard to alter the narrative, I have faith that this year’s story will be so glorious and exciting! Happy New Year! Love you.

  2. Hey Mary, I agree with Milla, you ARE a story-teller, I’d love to read some fiction future you writes. How about that, huh, huh?! i like your list of “I wills and ams”, especially not waiting for the other shoe to drop, and wild intuition and recognising guides, and and AND them all. This year is going to be magic. Love to you and the fams xoxo

  3. i read this a few days ago, and i had to let it sink in, because it went deep, and i felt flighty because of the depth of these truths.
    the omens are all around.
    at the dried reservoir yesterday a turkey vulture greeted me, crows and ravens gurgled and gackled.
    today, at home, looking hopefully at the layer of strata, a cloud of songbirds (sparrows, bushtits, towhees, etc) exploded from inside the neighborhood sky and a red shouldered hawk whizzed by, creating the display.
    something big is brewing.
    something is happening.

    you are trail blazing.
    we forge on, so we can “feel at home in our lives.” (a quote from my cousin.)

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