Rites of Spring Begin with “B”

Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night.

– Ranier Maria Rilke


Earlier this week, it happened; the sun and earth danced in such a way that, for equal portions of time, we knew light and dark.  And then, just as quickly, we were pushed beyond the balance into a new season –- for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, Happy Spring!


Spring Rites abound: birds returning, daffodils bravely pushing through cold, dark soil to reveal their strong, sensitive beauty, and of course “longer” days – the journey home from work includes appreciating the sunset, each one later than the evening before.


More personally, I noticed this week that my Rites of Spring Begin with “B” for Blessings:  Blessings for Boys, Birthing, Blogs, and Bees.  I’ll be Brief:

Isaac extends Blessings



  Blessing Boys – please enjoy my post on the Ritual I co-created with Joel and Jessica for their sons,    Isaac and Emmet;




Tristy & Justin Birth Anew


 Blessing Birthing – learn about the Ritual I co-created for Tristy and Justin, honoring their journey   from  unsuccessfully trying to make a baby to birthing new, child-free possibilities;




Blessing Blogs – when you read my blog it feels like a blessing! And, new this week, there’s a SUBSCRIBE feature, so you don’t have to miss any new posts!! Thank you, so much, for reading.


Blessings Bees – Ah, yes! Well, I don’t want to tell you everything all at once, so stay tuned for this story. Sneak preview? I bought a beekeeping suit yesterday. Buzzz, buzz…begins with “B.”


Happy Spring!!! Now stop reading this, Silly, and get out there to enjoy it…


Go Forth and Blossom...



RITUAL: A Journey from “Infertile!” to Choosing “Child-Free”

RITUAL:  A Journey from “Infertile!” to Choosing “Child-Free”


I have been on a 6-year odyssey to make a baby with my husband. This included all the usual

methods(!), as well as fertility treatments like taking the drug Clomiphene. We were not

successful in our quest and last year we decided to “stop trying.” While my husband more or less

happily moved on to start his new business, I felt stuck. I had poured my whole heart and soul

into making a baby and now that we were done with that chapter of our lives, I realized I had no

idea what came next.

-Tristy Taylor


Sometimes the things we can’t change end up changing us.

 – Unknown


Tristy’s Ritual: Grief, Shiva, and the UN-Baby Shower

March 3-11, 2012


Needless to say, Tristy’s grief began long before March 3rd.  And her extensive efforts to move beyond her grief brought her to my home one morning, early in February.  She began the conversation with a wise pronouncement: “I get it now – and it’s hard to ask – but this requires a ritual.  My grief isn’t going to leave until I ask for help from my community, and from a deeper source.”


Why was it hard to make this request?  Why, when women are so quick to shower one another with advice and gifts and mothering tips for those pregnant with little humans, have we not also found ways to celebrate, tend and care for the ones who incubate ideas, gestate projects, birth artwork, tend gardens, rear nieces, nephews, neighbors?


Maybe it’s because we haven’t first acknowledged the sadness that comes from attempting and failing at one’s birthright: making a child.  Infertility is a shame magnet, and choosing to live and love in ways that doesn’t include bearing children often mystifies.  And so began an exploration of acknowledging the grief, honoring a time for transition, and celebrating a willful choice.  Here’s how Tristy’s ritual went.


Saturday, March 3rd: Giving Up the Grief

Like giving up the ghost, the women who gathered late Saturday afternoon were there to support Tristy in fully expressing the sorrow, disappointment, and rage she’d been holding as a result of her six years of trying and failing to conceive a child.

Tristy in the Oak Grove

In the safety of twilight and with the guidance of Tristy’s talented priestess and friend,Lila, who offered her comfortable home, Tristy and a handful of wise women gathered to meditate, drum, and mourn.  The women, each in turn, invited her uterus to speak – and Oh, the stories!  Details of the night were held in sacred confidence by the ears that listened….and ultimately each one was surrendered to an Oak Grove, where it was understood the trees could transform it all. When it was over, Tristy’s husband,Justinretrieved her, taking her home for a week of resting in what was, and in what would become….


Sitting Shiva

For the next 7 days and 8 nights, Tristy sat Shiva, a Jewish custom following death.  To experience more of this part of the ritual, you may wish to read Tristy’s blog.


Sunday, March 11th: Tristy’s UN-Baby Shower

The flock of women who arrived at Tristy and Justin’s home Sunday morning arrived in precisely the fashion women do when they are showering a loved one — uproarious giggling and cooing, one arrival after another — alive, vibrant and a flourish of feminine chaos.   As the gathering, greeting and welcoming continued, Chef Justin wowed everyone us with a delicious brunch, featuring eggs (of course!!!!) and other bounty!  Settling in with a round of introductions, the women were asked, and consensus was found: it was everyone’s FIRST  UN-Baby Shower.  In short order, unanimous agreement resulted: it was an important event.  There were mothers and non-mothers in the room, each of them so grateful to be included, so moved by their friend’s courage, so willing to support Tristy in her choice to begin a new chapter as a child-free woman.


Hand on Heart


Each guest was asked to bring a quote from a woman who had not born children.  Quotes ranged from Dolly Parton to Julia Childs to Whoopi Goldberg; and as the quotes were appreciated and celebrated, so too was Tristy’s body, with colorful body paints – not just her womb, but her back and her chest and each appendage.

Artist's at Work

We called upon each facet, capable of imagining, making and mothering new creations.



Justin's Finishing Touches








Tristy’s friends showered her with creativity-inviting gifts: art materials, plants, libations and recipes!

Gifts for Bearing Fruit & Creativity!

Gifts for Bearing Fruit & Creativity!


To finish the ritual, we asked Justin to join Tristy.  Encircling them both, we acknowledged Justin’s role and voice as co-creator and co-parent both in what had been and in what will be.  With hands upon Tristy and Justin, the community set sacred intentions for the couple’s next chapter.  We prayed for surprise and delight and adventure in their choosing to be child-free.  And then, we told them how much we loved them.


We Love You, Tristy and Justin.


Flower Exchange Ecstasy


The UN-Baby Shower ended with some frolicking in the sun and a flower exchange (each woman brought a bouquet of flowers that were co-mingled and redistributed in bouquets to take home and enjoy.)  Brilliant!


Lauren & Tristy, Frolicking (lightly)


RITUAL: If I Were You, the Blessing of a Book

“A book blessing?” I repeated to my friend Gary.  “Well, yea, does that make sense?” he asked.  “YES!  Why not?” I exclaimed, affirming his instinct, my own, and all the gods’ listening.    Each creative act — every courageous, obedient dance with The Muse — is to be honored and celebrated and, by all means, Blessed!  And so, on the afternoon of his new book’s release, we made sure its way forward was duly anointed.


Book Blessing for author, Gary Turchin and his book, If I Were You
August 27, 2011


Gary reads, If I Were You

Opening Words:

When I asked Gary about why he wrote this book, he explained that writing this book is part of his Legacy.  He told me he felt, “a Call to do something for the Light in this world.”  I find this striking: to feel, “Called to do something for the Light in this world.”

The Light, whether we stop to notice it, or feel gratitude for it, or receive it at all, shines on….and Gary decided to honor it with this book.



What are YOU doing for the Light in this world?  Perhaps this is book is an invitation for each of us to consider this question….and to respond with one of its suggestions….or one of your own.  And so, we’re going to set about to bless Gary’s book now….



Group Blessing:

What words do you remember from this book? [participants call out various words]  Yes, yes!  All those words and many others.  So now, to bless this book – an original act of creativity; and to offer this book as a blessing to the world, I’m going to askGaryto “send” this Earth Ball into the crowd.  As the ball finds its way to you, call out your favorite word from the book and bound the ball elsewhere in the crowd.  [Words are called out and ball is bounced for a few moments; crowd laughs and engages fully in act of group blessing.]

Sunflowers! Caterpillaring! Nectarines! Holy Mackerel!

Final Blessing / Sending Forth:

May this book motivate those idle and antsy hands to manifest that new masterpiece, Great or mundane;

May this book inspire those dull and deadened minds to new ways of seeing, simple and transformative;

May this book find those hearts – closed or sleeping – and invite them to open and awaken!

Blessings be on Gary, the creator and If I Were You, this book!  May it be so!

May it be So!