Monday, May 2, 2011

Easter, time of eggs

I haven't posted for over a month! A month goes by so quickly it seems. I can definitely see it becomes harder and harder to reconnect with blog land the longer you stay away...

Today and yesterday have been the great days, really replenishing and spending time with those nearest and dearest to me. This morning I woke up early and took the dogs for a walk, up a beautiful hilly dirt road about 5 min from our house, the road climbs up the mountain to a nearby town, and is basically just farms and properties and a few B&Bs. During the heavy rain a few months ago there was a small landslide and the road broke away, so now it's closed while they rebuild it. Perfect for on foot and off leash fun! The day was beautiful, the best I've seen all season, I think I really love autumn.. the clearness of everything and the temperature is so mild, not hot and stinky like in summer.

Came home from the walk and made vegie juice with the recently awoken boy, and scrambled eggs from our chook girls. Often when I spend a day at home, I find I crowd my mind up with so many things that I want to do, that I end up doing none of them and waste the day away stressing out, or bludging on the internet, or sleeping (2pm nanna naps are my weakness!). So today was great in that I did none of these things.. instead I took the time to start enjoying some pastimes I've been meaning to for ages, crafting and fixing things. I've been telling myself for about 3 years now that I'm going to learn to sew, and have the machine set up and waiting in the front room, but it seems everytime my study breaks come along.. something gets in the way of me and my sewing endeavor. This year it was a full-time job... last it was my illness and recovery and emotional upheaval.. sounds silly I know, I just need to reprogram myself to stop wasting all the little inbetween times of the day. Which is exactly what I did today. I pulled out some of the old vintage fabric I had thrifted over the last few years and recovered some little chair cushions.. I did not sew, as yet, but did become handy with the hot glue gun. And I fixed the $4 chair that was broken in the lounge room too. And we took the cats outside for a bit of a play, and then I cooked a tofu & veg noodle soup and hazelnut chocolate cake. Feels awesome.

Yesterday hung out with my man, helped him deliver a ute load of phone books around our local area, a little inbetween work he's picked up to help make ends meet whilst he finds a job. In my last post I spoke briefly about the financial slump this area has hit, especially the real estate/construction industry... well my partner draws up house plans, so he basically doesn't have a job anymore. Gotta love timing! Feels a bit like everytime we get a little ahead or get our heads above water we just get slammed again. And I involuntarily had my hours cut at work too. Reading Milla's post on voluntary simplicity a week later couldn't have rung more true for me... this lifestyle is ouchie! I can see the light! Help me out haha... I don't even want a job, I have no full time career aspirations really... especially not in a retail store (even one that sells cool music), it's still all so corporate, all so consumer-driven, all so sickening! I mean sure, I have loads and loads of things I'd like to do as a dietitian/nutritionist when I'm finished studying... but can I do them part-time? Most of them are community based anyway, and I'd really like to get into food/agricultural policy or write a book. Life is so much more than what you do for a living. The ends can meet easier if they're smaller right?

Anyway, no more negativity. This is a happy post! Last weekend we had a mini getaway down south, stayed with friends at Mullumbimby and saw my one and only Mr Bob Dylan (for the 2nd time - yay me!) at the Bluesfest festival down in Byron Bay. We both really love Bob's music, old and new, and I guess consider ourselves "committed fans". I loved seeing him on stage again, and we were quite close this time which I was pretty happy about. We spent easter sunday down there and off to the festival on the monday.

The easter weekend had me thinking loads about what all of these holidays mean.. really mean to people like me, not christian and not caught-up in the whole retail-crazy-easter egg-buying shopper mentality I see all around me. I knew easter was tied in with fertility, and I guessed it was something to do with the pagans.. so I looked a bit further...

Easter is named for a Saxon goddess who was known by the names of Oestre or Eastre, and in Germany by the name of Ostara. She is a goddess of the dawn and the spring, and her name derives from words for dawn, the shining light arising from the east. Our words for the "female hormone" estrogen derives from her name.

Ostara was, of course, a fertility goddess. Bringing in the end of winter, with the days brighter and growing longer after the vernal equinox, Ostara had a passion for new life. Her presence was felt in the flowering of plants and the birth of babies, both animal and human. The rabbit (well known for its propensity for rapid reproduction) was her sacred animal.

Easter eggs and the Easter Bunny both featured in the spring festivals of Ostara, which were initially held during the feasts of the goddess Ishtar | Inanna. Eggs are an obvious symbol of fertility, and the newborn chicks an adorable representation of new growth. Brightly colored eggs, chicks, and bunnies were all used at festival time to express appreciation for Ostara's gift of abundance.

History of Easter Eggs and Easter Candy

The history of Easter Eggs as a symbol of new life should come as no surprise. The notion that the Earth itself was hatched from an egg was once widespread and appears in creation stories ranging from Asian to Ireland.

Eggs, in ancient times in Northern Europe, were a potent symbol of fertility and often used in rituals to guarantee a woman's ability to bear children. To this day rural "grannywomen" (lay midwives/healers in the Appalachian mountains) still use eggs to predict, with uncanny accuracy, the sex of an unborn child by watching the rotation of an egg as it is suspended by a string over the abdomen of a pregnant woman.

Dyed eggs are given as gifts in many cultures. Decorated eggs bring with them a wish for the prosperity of the abundance during the coming year.

This little guy outside our bedroom window on easter monday!

We, as a couple, have been trying to conceive for about 15 months now. At first it was kind of a secret, not for any particular reason, just because it felt better that way. Getting to this point of trying was a mission in itself, sometimes men need more time to be ready for things I think. Basically when I was 25, I found out I have stage IV severe endometriosis, a bittersweet diagnosis for me as I was relieved to have finally found the cause of many of my unexplained health problems.. bowel issues, fatigue, menstrual problems, severe abdominal cramping.. etc. But obviously, I was also devastated. At 25 I was being told that I would be recommended a hysterectomy if I had already had children, which I have not had! My initial gyno appt found a cricket ball sized blue mass inside my vagina, and she referred me onto a more experienced specialist in the city. Two months later and I had been thru 2 surgeries, the first being a 3 hour conservative laparoscopic removal of endometriosis masses, riddled throughout my pelvic cavity. All over uterus (he could only get 90% of it without taking the uterus), right ovary, bladder, bowel (I had a bowel resection also). This guy has been doing this for a long time, and is the director of a large fertility association, and here he is telling me it's one of the worst cases he's seen in someone of my age. He advised me to try for a baby as soon as we could, as soon as we were ready, as he said that the extent of my disease meant that I was probably going to struggle and it was better to have age on my side. BIG recovery, both physically and moreso mentally and emotionally. I wanted to try to get pregnant straight away. I was depressed, exhausted, de-womanized, confused and desperate. We fought, alot. I was trying to continue studying, working, living. This would have been end of 2009 and then the beginning of last year. I sought counselling, and it did help after a while but I had alot of healing to do. I was so angry for so long that this had happened to me, and so confused about what path I should take. I felt that I was being forced into making decisions that shouldn't be forced. It's not like I was 19, and I always wanted to have my first child before I was 30, my parents were younger (my mum had me when she was 25) and I loved growing up with younger active parents and it was something I had always planned to do myself. So what to do? Not everyone involved was exactly ready either. Which made it harder. I rebelled and started drinking and going out again, reliving my younger days. Eventually we reached a point where my partner felt he was ready to begin this journey, and so began our journey into hopeful fertility and eventual baby. And here we are 14 months later, no baby, no miscarriages either. Just every month, oh look there's my period again. One month it was 19 days late. 19 days! And I was so tired, I was convinced I was pregnant. But now I've started to realise it's probably not going to happen, I don't get as hopeful anymore, but I still find myself angry and a little bit sad everytime I find that familiar red stain on the toilet tissue. Anyway, I could write about this all night, which I won't be doing, I just wanted to say that this easter meant alot to me.. deep inside my woman bits, the ones I hope are still working.. I really *felt* the true meaning of easter this year, and I hope that somewhere in the universe the goddess of fertility is watching over me. I would so dearly dearly love to carry a child within me, just once, I would like to adopt if we can later on, when we tick all the necessary boxes.. but I think for me personally, I would like at least once to do as my body was intended to do, to carry a baby, to watch my body go through amazing changes, to breastfeed and allow my maternal urges to fall over something without 4 legs and a tail. And I would like to name him or her Patch or Jolene and dress them in things from the dump or handmedowns and let their hair grow long until they are old enough to beg me to cut it!

Goodnight, and take care x