Time to tend my garden
19th April 2017
I am tired.
I’m not long home from a glorious ten days in my favourite place in the world. St Lucia. Whilst there, I didn’t completely switch off (I know.. I know.. not good). I took part in a discussion about diversity with a doula organisation that I am currently a member of. It was exhausting. Whilst my soul leapt with joy at the members who genuinely want to see change, the quiet objections to that necessary change were getting louder. It started with the ‘we’re talking amongst ourselves because we don’t need diverse input’, ranged through defensiveness and ‘you’re being very upsetting saying that we need to change’ and me leaving on hearing that ‘the discussion is mean and negative, therefore comments will be censored’.
I have a headache.
I was told that it was going to be a conversation held in vain. I held out hope. I couldn’t walk away without one last attempt to see even a modicum of change. The change, if it comes, will be long and painful. When open discussion cannot be had, when the ‘powers that be’ don’t like to hear the swelling discontent and try to bury their heads in the sand, there is no point in prolonging my aching head. I am no longer going to bang my head on that brick wall.
I do, still, have hope that the voices for change will continue to rise, but I fear that they will be squashed and lost into the bucket of all lives matter. The voices that should have rung out loud, have hidden behind their ‘fear that there is too much to carry’, forgetting that people of colour have always carried it, continue to carry it today and sadly will still be carrying it tomorrow.
“The hardest thing about moving forward is leaving something behind – and it’s usually a part of ourselves” – Unknown
I’m left wondering what needs to happen for change to be implemented. If the voices that we say we need to help us, are silenced by us, what can we do? Something that we doulas pride ourselves on is our ability to be, to listen to our clients, to be guided along their journey, with them. Yet it seems an impossible task for a group of doulas to doula themselves. They have allowed their garden to be overcome with weeds and with thorns whose roots are really deep. It’s going to take a lot to pull them out. My garden has been neglected as I look to make that garden fertile again. So, it’s time for me to step away. To leave those rising voices to rise. For them my door remains open, but Spring is here and my garden needs love and the buds are pushing through. My watering can is poised, the shit is fertilising my roses and joy is flooding my heart.
As well as running Abuela Doula Preparation courses, I run a series of workshops. Loving the Multiple Mamas, The Wisdom of the Abuelas and Cultural Competency. There, the conversation is open, the welcome is warm and we all learn from one another.
Contact us here and come join us and our conversations, as we welcome new life into our world and let’s change it, one birth at a time.