mayacama mama

Embracing Smallness

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Since just before the new year, we’ve had two long stretches without the internet. We have cell service through wi-fi so when the internet isn’t working, our phones don’t work either.  It’s when I cannot check my email for the millionth time that I realize how attached I am to my iPhone. And when our internet begins to work again, I realize how distracted I become to the point of ignoring my son as he crawls over to the planter to stick his hand in the dirt and eat it.


We are still adjusting to living together in small quarters in the guest house on our ranch. Other than spending more time in the car driving Zoey to and from school, my mama moments are fairly the same as they were before we moved. The major difference now is that we can step outside our door and go for a hike, or just look out the window and see an amazing sunset unobscured by other houses.

A few days ago I was listening to Courtney Martin and Parker Palmer speak on the On Being Podcast The Inner Life of Rebellion. This one line that Courtney Martin shared has stayed with me: It’s an act of rebellion to show up as your whole self, and especially the parts that are complex, that are unfinished, that are vulnerable. This move to the ranch has opened us up to the complexities of seeing a dream unfold while knowing it’s not quite finished. It leaves us feeling hopeful of the future but vulnerable in our desire for more and not quite doneness. Towards the end of the podcast, Parker Palmer read this meditation, “Hope” by Victoria Safford:

“Our mission is to plant ourselves at the gates of Hope–not the prudent gates of Optimism, which are somewhat narrower; nor the stalwart, boring gates of Common Sense; nor the strident gates of Self-Righteousness, which creak on shrill and angry hinges (people cannot hear us there; they cannot pass through); nor the cheerful, flimsy garden gate of “Everything is gonna be all right.” But a different, sometimes lonely place, the place of truth-telling, about your own soul first of all and its condition, the place of resistance and defiance, the piece of ground from which you see the world as both as it is and as it could be, as it will be; the place from which you glimpse not only struggle, but joy in the struggle. And we stand there, beckoning and calling, telling people what we are seeing, asking people what they see.”

If I can embrace my smallness, then I can hold your vulnerability without needing to change you. I’ll be able to see the hope that resides in your smallness, too. We are all yearning to be whole, but sometimes, and as I’m learning more and more, we have to embrace the brokenness, too.



Author: Jessica Adriance Cowan

I'm a wife, mama of a daughter and son, a lover of writing, and budding herbalist.

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