Monday, August 23, 2010

henna bellies

I know it seems there are some themes around here lately; babies and bellies and new life. What an incredible season it is to be surrounded by people that I love that are swelling with new little people. Over the summer, three of the five pregnant ones in my girls' group have met their babies, and it won't be long for the last two. I really wanted to have some henna parties to celebrate and adorn all these beautiful bellies so we had one in the beginning of the summer and one last week. It really is a lovely way to celebrate. It isn't always easy to watch your body transform and stretch within nine months, but it is so freeing to be among women who choose to embrace every stretch mark and and every change with a respect for what God has made our bodies be able to do: nurture life.
Kelly, one of the girls in our group is an artist whose work I adore, so she was our henna artist. I got the Proud Body Pregnancy Henna Kit to ensure that it was 100% all natural. It creates such a relaxing mood watching the designs take shape and watching baby limbs press against their increasingly crowded womb-abode. It left me feeling a little like I'd been marked with some tribal marking, all of us baring some pretty burnt-sienna colored stain in vines or flowers on our hands or ankles. It smelled pleasant of lavender oil and I thought of all the times I've shared with these women over the years in my living room or many stories, so much laughter. I remembered so many prayers, showers and some hard times too. We listened and cried and knit a prayer shawl together when one of us miscarried, some of us knew the heartache first hand but we all understood the depth of loving something out of our control. We've been there for each other in those times, but we've had many more joys and blessings as represented by a growing group of the next generation.
Here's a few shots of a night I want to remember. I'm thinking this will be our new shower tradition. Who doesn't need a little body art now and then?

(this one is due to hatch in less than 2 weeks! amazing)