Holy Smudging

Today my little girl turned two. As I wrote the last blog post, struggling with her birthday, I realized that I needed to celebrate Sage. Even though her birthday is hard for me I need to remember and celebrate the beautiful unique little girl that she is. And of course the only way I really know how to celebrate someone is by writing something about them. So I decided to try my hand at spoken word poetry. Feeling inspired by greats like Anis Mojgani and Sarah Kay I set to work. What I ended up with is not really very good or very poetic, but I'm pleased with it. It sums up a lot of thoughts and feelings I've had about Sage in the past year and paints a little bit of a picture about who my little girl is.

Because its spoken word poetry and meant to be spoken and performed I am sharing it in video form instead of just writing it out. Please forgive the poor lighting, the place where I stumble and need to correct myself, the pauses that are too long, my weird hand gestures and just generally be kind. This is a first attempt after all.



The native Americans have a ritual, they call it smudging - not a great name I know. But by it, they cleanse a space, A room, a person. And they do it with sage - That sweet tasting treasure of the Itailian's That herb whose Latin name means 'to heal', The herb of which Thomas Cohgan wrote in the 1500's " such is the virtue of sage that if it were possible, it would make a man immortal.” Immortal! And so they take this herb, This magical sage And bundle the leaves together into a stick The smudge stick And they light it aflame, the smoke rises up, circling its way around the space, expanding filling driving out the negative, the undesired, the evil, trading it for the sweet smell of leaves grown out of earth leaves given life by the light of the sun. You, Sage, have been for me as a smudge stick - you burn and yet you cleanse. 730 days you have been with me. 730 days which have been filled by the negative, Surrounded by fear, Surrounded by diagnosis after diagnosis. Into this your fragrance penetrates The cleansing smoke of your presence does its work To drive out, to eradicate To replace and fill. And while your mother panics And your father fights You smile. Out of your large curious eyes shines a soul filled with stardust so fresh that anyone who gazes in there long would swear they could swim in it. And though wordless you sing, A song of beauty and hope a song of praise. Praise for the one who hears the cries of the wordless. Praise for the one who runs to the immobile. Praise for the one who set the stars in their place and guards the souls of those who cannot guard themselves. Praise. Praise. Praise. Praise for the darkness and the light. Praise for the little girl I asked not to have. For by you, By the twinkle of knowing in your eyes, And the smile that dances across your lips God has blown holy smoke into my soul And healing fragrance has come into all our lives.


Rejoicing in the journey, Bethany