by Tania Zimmer in , , ,

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way than this:

where I does not exist, nor you,

so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.
— Sonnet XVII by Pablo Neruda

my girl is 4. these kids grow up don't they. 4 years we have spent getting to know each other, separating ourselves, untangling ourselves from the moment she grew inside me. we share this intimate event of trauma and beauty wrapped up in one ~ she did not want to come into this world the way she did. and she sensitively reacts to it daily with every act, defiantly proclaiming her ability to choose. to say i made this decision. some big experiences to process in such a little body and a little mind that seems wise beyond her years, and always grappling with the inability to run with the wind and melt into the ocean, or running with wolves as i see her so naturally doing. her birth day is a day that has been painful to relive the last four years, but regardless of that, i cannot describe the growth and the humbleness that those events have created for her and for me. that's the only way to go through that. find the strength and the vulnerability and live in the little joys. every day. yet, i feel so strongly about how women birth and how careless our society is about how we bring people into this world. how not everyone is the same, and how intimate the act of pregnancy, labor and birth is. how women have been doing this for years, and how we have somehow lost our ability to trust ourselves in something that is so primally ours. how some of us are so much more impacted by these events, based on our histories. our own traumas, and how delicately things can unravel when we don't care for each other. i will forever be vigilant about my daughters' birth experiences, how they can see the beauty of such things, the natural and normal process of such things, the knowledge needed in women to understand the responsibility and awareness it takes to go through this death and rebirth of themselves. the tribe needed. the village needed. the softness and courage of their dependence on their tribe so that they can be whole too. that first birth forever changed so many things in me. and my second birth was so peaceful, so right, so me, so veda, so loving, so healing, so bittersweet. our birth imprints how we view how the world embraces us. it starts at birth. 

so much was lost between amaia and me. so much numbness that occurred within me after our birth, so much pain watching her feeling every single excruciating drugged man made  contraction, so much of her struggling through her day to day, her sensory overloads, her fight or flight always fighting. so much of that oxytocin that i never had when she was born, and she never had when she was laboring. i became more so focused on setting things right after. of erasing or fixing that violation of our first moments. and more so i became entrenched in the misery and pain of that experience, of how she is changed too. but her resilience shines through, and when she is older i fear talking about how that experience broke me. every day more doesn't seem to fade those experiences,  as with her. i am grateful for the ability to heal and make peace and hold her hand in her process of dealing with how she was greeted, how it shaped her and how much of how we've been able to heal and still struggle with, how i felt powerless in making those changes yet had no idea the power i had, the consent i wasn't aware i had. birth is so powerful. you know i hadn't planned on divulging so much of this, but it makes sense that these birth days bring out so many emotions. i love this sweet soul!

I wasn’t prepared for the emotional complexities of being a mother. I expected to love my child, and to be loved in return, but I didn’t anticipate the intricate shapes that our love, both hers and mine, would assume. I believed, naively, that our mother-daughter relationship would be simple until she reached her teens. Instead, it has been complicated since the day she was born.
— Laurel Hermanson

and. so.

we started the day off spending a few hours at the beach, something this girl loves. came home and did a small celebration meal, with her favorite things she wanted for her birthday: . i didn't have time to get a lot of pictures, trying to enjoy the moment. we had a very small, intimate, family birthday just so that we could be with her dad while he was in town. this fairy was quite smitten with the pies she requested, and the fairy wings. such simple things that give such joy.

the menu:

a roasted coconut curried lemongrass chicken and 'mashed' potatoes, with a salad tossed in olive oil, lemon zest and good salt and pepper. 

i used against all grain mixed berry tart recipe. i created my own banana black bottom pie with a maple butter custard to top it off - i couldn't believe how yummy it turned out. i think i will have to do a recipe post just for that one. all the desserts were sweetened with raw honey, dairy free except for the pastured butter uses for the banana chocolate pie. and of course grain free. 

amaia loves guava kombucha so i mixed that with sparkling water, ice, infused with fresh berries and mint from our garden. 

it's so simple to focus on the things they love, and throw a fabulous intimate party. our gifts to her was the time we spend, the food we lovingly prepared, and the memories we created on this day. she did get a new sketch pad and stickers. she loves to draw and stickers are always a hit.