Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Belly Dancing, Babies, and Flowers in Bloom

How delicious is it to stare at a new baby? As I cradled three-week-old Maya near my heart last week, it was at once exciting, thrilling, and peaceful. During this crazed time of economic downturn, companies and prospects flail like mobile fobs in a windstorm. Meanwhile, right in the crook of my arm nestled this twisting bit of pink perfection, calming and mesmerizing me and evaporating all my cares and concerns.

Standing over her crib, her parents at once bundle love, exhaustion, amazement, anticipation, and worry. They nuzzle her, coo with her, and gaze in her endlessly-seeking hazel eyes. She peers out toward a window and you can almost hear her blossoming brain whiz and whir as she seeks to make sense of her wondrous world. She sows her soft magic over us all and reassures us that everything is going to be just fine.

After my visit with Maya, I wandered into our backyard and found voluptuous blooms emerging on our jasmine vines. I buried my face in the scent and inhaled the fresh, heady perfume. This prolific burst of flowers demonstrates Mother Nature’s recurring promise: Regardless of the edgy, nervous business climate, the spring buds faithfully appear and pop into glorious banquets of color and fragrance. We just need to lift our goblets and rise for the welcome toast.

My teacher, Najla, introduced new movements in our belly dancing class this week. We novices attempted to blend the disparate motions of our feet, pelvises, bellies, shoulders, and arms into fluid choreography. Reminiscent of Maya waving from her crib, I lacked the elusive swaddling of confidence to consolidate shoulder shimmies into piston hips and slink into an Egyptian walk. Yet I believe that with practice and with Najla’s patient cajoling over the next weeks, we’ll shed our inhibitions and sprout into a barefooted bouquet of vibrant-hued scarves fluttering and jingling to exotic rhythms.

So the week’s exploration is: What serves as your bunting? In what do you wrap yourself that binds your character yet frees the graceful gazelle within? What nudges you to flower? For me, it’s the mantle of hope, and I thank little Maya for the reminder that it does spring eternal.


  1. I don't know that this qualifies, but one thing that I enjoy doing is sitting in the living room with my husband in the early, still dark, morning and talking. We started doing this a few years ago and I like the way it starts off the day.

  2. Beautiful writing Beth.
    I love the progression of spring. Everyday a new birth of life and with it a promise of hope.
    Thanks for posting.

  3. Appreciate the reminder of that cellular sproyoing! of the new- that is also hauntingly familiar- with a fresh baby in your hands. You nailed it. There is some limbic brain connection related to the scents of that experience, too, but don't want to ruin it here by analyzing...
    I encounter a zenzone when sharing space with a great tree- not just looking at it, but being with it- larger eyes, larger life- limitless roots, graciously recognize my veins-continue effortlessly on and down to the dark moisture I crave.