Friday, 28 February 2014

The Empty Basket & The Crocus

There comes a moment in between labouring and birthing when the hormones from one stage leave you to make space for the next – and very necessary – set of hormones to flood in. 

This space is called ‘transition’ and many birthing mothers report feeling hopeless, empty, drained and confused during this time. I have heard midwives tell stories of mothers who ask for a taxi because they want to leave now please. And I remember the feeling in me was simply: ‘I absolutely can’t do this. I do not trust this will happen.’

But it does happen; the new hormones do kick in and you are carried along on an entirely new wave of power and strength that rolls in behind you to sweep you up. 

And once you have given birth, you understand ‘transition’ deeply and you begin to notice it in your life, in your being. It is the In Between, where you simply cannot imagine what is coming and you cannot go back to where you have come from. It feels deeply uncomfortable and empty.

And I notice that I am in a transition at the moment. My basket is being emptied. Things I have been able to rely on are shifting out of reach. The flood of ideas and inspiration to which I usually have such easy access has been replaced by a sign that says 'Stop and let yourself be emptied.'

I have a cough, I feel under the weather; my body is in synch with the whole process. I am shedding on every level and I can feel that I need to slow down, to pray, to be as present as I can. 

And, above all else, I need to trust. This is the message that was brought to me by the single crocus who has pushed herself up through our muddy lawn in tune with the first stirrings of Spring; another outer echo of the inner shifts I am experiencing. 

She poked her head through the grass and, in all her raw, purple loveliness, she said: ‘Now is the time to trust for yourself what you so easily trust for others.’

And so I sit here, basket empty, just trusting that I am loved and that all is well. And while I welcome and allow the uncomfortable feelings that go with this territory, I am going to sit on the floor with Christopher and let him show me his beloved aeroplane. I will let our cats settle on my lap and I will keep an eye on that crocus, visible from the kitchen, where so much of my work takes place. 

Sharing this in case anybody else is spending time in the In Between and needs a dose of crocus trust and a reminder that sometimes baskets need some time to be emptied.


  1. Thanks for "Crocus trust" ! Enjoying going about with an empty basket. So much lighter, so full of possibility rather than stuff J x

  2. Thanks, Hollie, so good to be reminded that life is full of little transitions and it's fine to just sit with it and be, waiting for the next thing. Poignant.