Welcoming Ceremony

When Ben and I designed our wedding ceremony, we chose to invite only 30 people.  They were members of the short list of the people that had to be there or the wedding didn't count.  Daria, my friend of 17 years then, got ordained so she could perform the ceremony.  Everything was just right.  We were married under a shag bark hickory tree with candles hanging from the boughs and our feet inside a circle of flower petals and the butterflies flew around us.

Henry's birth was also picture perfect.  It was a gorgeous summer day as we walked the neighborhood around the Birth Center.  When I was ready to come inside to the room, we had our midwife, Anastasia, and two birth assistants dipping in and out of the room as needed.  Ben was my constant as I labored in the birthing tub.  He sang songs and told me stories from our backpacking trips together to keep me centered, and he helped catch Henry as he was born.  The midwife and birth assistants took pictures, encouraged me when I didn't think I could go on and told me how beautiful my boy was.

Last week, I had an idea to throw together a quick welcoming ceremony for Henry.  Quick not because I didn't want a meaningful event, but because I still had Henry's placenta in my freezer and it is fall in Wisconsin.  I called Daria and asked her if she'd put together a few words to say over the speaker phone the next day.  I know, that is not ideal, but you settle for good enough as a new mom (my hair is brushed enough,  my kitchen is clean enough, etc.)  Thankfully, Daria was able to visit and facilitate another fitting ceremony.  On Sunday, I took a bath with Henry as we told him the story of his birth.  It was really interesting to recall the detail of those events as he splashed and played in the tub.  Then we sat out on a blanket and Daria told Henry about his sources of nourishment starting with the placenta, then breast milk and then the Earth.  We placed his placenta in the ground and then we planted some written hopes for Henry as he grows up and added flower petals to the top. Then we filled in the area with dirt and planted some daffodil bulbs.  We hope the daffodils will bloom on his birthday next June.  It was a gorgeous night.  A 60 degree evening in late October in Wisconsin is hard to come by.  In the still night air we sat around a candle and talked about our dreams for our guy.  Our little man got tired just when Ben was ready to entertain him with some dirt shoveling, and then he was off to bed.  I'm glad that Daria was there to help us welcome Henry into our family officially.


Unknown said...

what a beautiful and touching description of such a blessed ceremony. thank you for sharing it with us

melissa said...

oh melinda, what a beautiful story. you brought tears to my eyes. henry is blessed with such a wonderful caring family. what a gift to grow up surrounded by such love.

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