An International Baby Shower to Remember
I am (s)he
As you are he
As you are me
And we are all together
Paul McCartney and John Lennon
All is not lost. I feel like I am swimming in goodness, in hope, in the crazy dream that we will take care of each other and we will be ok.
Last fall, I wanted to take my Buddhist practice into the world, and I tried to get a group of my sangha members together to sponsor a Syrian families' resettlement process. Well, turns out that's really complicated. But a few of us did gather together and form a Refugee Sponsorship group, and along with some members of my in-laws church, we teamed up with the International Rescue Committee.
As I lost my house and everything in it due to black mold, my amazing friends took it over and got the ball rolling. Yay community! And....after spending the last month in meetings, emails, and massive baby gear collecting- we threw a baby shower! I created an Amazon registry for 6 moms, and by posting it to my sangha, on Facebook and a neighborhood list serve- and we gathered more baby items than fit in my garage. Seriously. From car seats to bath tubs to strollers to diapers- woah. And my friend collected donations and filled her Westfalia van from top to bottom. We drove to Denver yesterday with our hearts full of the generosity of humans. I can still barely get over how much and how easily people gave. Every time I came home there were half a dozen boxes on my doorstep, from people I've never met and probably never will. People who imagined what it would be like be country- less, resource-less, community-less, to have lost everything but be expecting a child. We are not as separate as we think, everyone can imagine that heart breaking situation and want to help. And help they did!
Yesterday, along with the staff of the IRC, we celebrated mamas from Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia and Iraq. With 3 translators, a hospital advocate, and many hands- we ate and drank, laughed, talked birth and diapers, and set these mamas up with crazy piles of gear.
As I sat on the floor playing with their beautiful toddlers, I thought my heart would burst. Looking at their shining faces framed by hijabs, I felt the inseparable nature of humanity. I could feel, from the inside out, how connected we are in life, love, birth, death, grief and joy. I felt my boundaries blur and soften, I felt myself dissolve into this thing we call humanity.
I also had the added benefit of kick ass Awaken the Dance class that morning, and we focused on, of course, blurring the boundaries. The invitation was to feel the boundaries of body-beings soften, and to have everyone's dance in our bodies- tp share our dance with everyone's bodies- to feel that our bodies are not as separate as we think. We can celebrate each other by connecting to each other. And we did. What a beautiful dance we had.