Eowyn & Coco's hampster woke me at 4am, scuttling around Bens and my bedroom. I couldn't get back to sleep, so went for a wondrous early morning stroll, down to the pond, where our family of beavers and two families of ducks were swimming in the crisp spring morn. I felt close to my maker, and amazed at the wonder I sleep through almost every morning!!
I'm not sure whether this one is Birthday, Coco's hampster, or Sally, Eowyn's hampster! They regularly escape their bonds and awaken me in the early morning, tickling me with their delightful little whiskers! The girls love sharing them with every guest who comes to our home! (We like guests!!)
The vast, lonely Gobi desert surrounds the mother camel. She has no music to express the pain she feels, pain which goes on and on, seemingly without end. Into her exhaustion arrives her white baby camel, sadly bleating for his mother’s warm body and satiating milk. She pushes her child away, and loses herself in the arid wasteland. The white camel pursues her and she snarls at him, threatened and afraid.
My five-year old daughter Eowyn watched The Story of the Weeping Camel with me, and said: “She wanted to love the baby, but she didn’t know how to love the baby.” Like the mother camel, I had no music to express my deep pain throughout my childhood and adolescence. When other people and God sought to extend love to me, I hid in the expanse of my loneliness and unsung sorrow.
“Hooooooos” sang Ogdoo to the mother camel, her voice enchanting and mysterious. The desert winds caught the strings of the violin, and played a single note, haunting and resonant. The mother sang the note with the violin, with Ogdoo. She was finding a voice for her pain, a community in which to sing her song, understanding.
Singing her own song let tears flow from the mother camel’s eyes. As she mourned and grieved the sorrow from which she had hidden, she let her baby drink from her breast, and talked to him, her deep contralto words blending with his silver soprano voice.
I began learning my own song after my brother Stephen died, and others stood with me in my grief. My song grew louder on board LOGOS II, standing at the bow beneath an enormous sky filled with stars, the ship rhythmically rolling, wind and salty spray kissing my skin. Crossing the Atlantic, I remembered swimming with dolphins at Palm Beach, Australia, and how that had been a tangible sign to me of God’s love.
I read the God’s words in Job 40, standing alone on LOGOS II’s bow: “Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty?” Job was well-behaved and stayed silent. I spoke. “YES I’ll content with the Almighty and find fault. I hate the way you haven’t protected me God, and abandoned me to loneliness, rejection and abuse!” In the silent moment after my words, I feared God would discard me for my impiety. In the silent moment after my words, I saw on the horizon a swirling, boiling, bubbling patch of water, moving towards me. As my ship and the conundrum drew closer, I realised what it was: DOLPHINS! Hundreds of them! God’s response to my song was not rejection and abandonment, but love, in Megan’s language.
As I learn to sing my song, I let the white camel approach me, and be nourished by me. I hum my sweet, sad, vibrant melody in harmony with its intonation. During goodnight prayers tonight, I prayed that as the Hoos ritual taught the camel to love, Jesus would teach me to love. My three-year-old daughter Cosette plaintively declared: “Yes, I will teach you how to love!” She is right! The intensity, wonder, tension and tangibility of motherhood is a battleground where I am learning adoration. My children’s delight in my love, and their enormous acceptance of me awakens my soul in a new way.
In Santos, Brazil, singing next to Benjamin on board LOGOS II, I sensed God saying “Yes, Megan, I am healing you, and shall give you Benjamin to stand with you as your husband to be devoted to you and be part of my healing you.” Like the Hoos ritual for the mother camel, a symphony of song has surrounded me, loving me into hopefulness. I am especially thankful for the kindly voices of Benjamin, Eowyn and Cosette, and my sister Serendipity Rose. I honour the wise voices of my counsellors Allan, Myles, Theresa and Lisa. Grateful am I for deep throaty tears shed with me, unleashing my own healing tears. For this gift I thank Tom and Anita at JFK airport, April at Late Afternoon Tea in Buenos Aires, Sam on the shaggy carpet of our Fremont apartment, Dad in the car driving into the Cascade Mountains, Mum in the talk about lighting a candle in the dark and sitting with God, Becca reading my story at Aberystwyth, Kate, walking along the dry, dusty road, Gimena and Caroline, yelling “FUCK!” with me at the quayside in Tema, Ghana, and Benjamin, Dirk Jan, Eva, Simon and Kate, weeping for me in LOGOS II’s aft meeting room after Eva declared: “God hates what happened to that little girl.”
And lastly, thank you to Jesus, the invisible, enigmatic orchestrator of my personal Hoos ritual.
Reflecting on motherhood, I am very thankful for my role in Eowyn and Cosette's life, and theirs in mine. This chalk drawing by Leonardo da Vinci, entitled 'Virgin with Child, St. Anne & St. John the Baptist' is a favourite of mine. I love Mary's deep serenity, and long for such myself.