Women have long been the keepers. Keeper of stories. Family history. Secrets. Wishes. Dreams. Round a warm fireplace or simply held in her arms you may have told her your thoughts of the day, or let them melt off of you and wash away. Letting her cleanse your soul so that you could go farther. Make it another day. Offering you what reserves she has within herself. Taking on your burden for you. Be it a mother, friend, spouse, sister or the feminine energy within your own being; she has been the one that holds so much for you. A loving embrace. As a birth worker, I see it time and again. The holding on. Keeping quiet. While flooded with emotion we all find that place, some sooner than others, where we let go of our past selves and welcome the new. Forever evolving and emerging as a new woman, time and again. Emerging. Finding some treasure stored deep within us. Where did you come from? As a mother leans against me. Dries her tears on my shoulder. Squeezes my hand…and feels me return the intensity. I offer my strength. Give her grounding. Warm her with my hands. Wash the fear and blood from her thighs. Soothe her inner doubt with an intense gaze letting her know that I believe in her. I have been where she is going and it holds such promise. She can do this and is doing it as we lock eyes and she bears down against the most difficult thing she has ever done. This may be her first time making this journey, but it will not be her last. She has much to fight for. And, so much within her that needs to be heard, seen or felt. Be it one child or fighting for that child…she will return to this path. It isn’t only in the world of birth where we find these stories. Friendships hold these jewels. Family bonds. They are found in the letting go. And, in the standing of ground. The balance is difficult but it is there. Teetering in the winds of time. We cannot be contained. Our presence is much too strong. Our voices too loud…even though they may be but a whisper upon the night. A soft confession in an ear. An “I don’t think I can do this anymore” as the hours pass. But she does, she persists. In this moment. And, she will keep trying in the next. Looking back over her shoulder and seeing just how far she has come. As you welcome these stories and the complexities of the characters in your life, be it in passing or in moments to recall down the line, delve deeper into who she is. Where did she learn to make those biscuits? Find her happiness in a time called The Great Depression? Find her way when there was no one there to guide her. Find her voice when she had kept it quiet, hidden within for so long. Find the person she needed in the moments when it mattered. There you will find the connection between us all. Let her keep you. Keep you in that moment and what she offers may not be material, but a breath of what is necessary. What is her story? What is yours?