On Tuesday morning, after several days of rain, I woke to sunshine and the sounds of birds. The weather
had shifted. There wasn’t the heat or angle of summer anymore. Yellow finches sat in the tops of the tall
orange cosmos flowers, which are daily forming seed heads. The purple hollyhocks, red Echinacea and
tiny, striped marigolds were all changing. They had moved from full bloom to thoughts of seeds and
survival; winter. I too was feeling a deep change. My baby, 7 this summer, was counting the hours to her
first day of real school in the morning. I’ve always welcomed the change to autumn with joy and relief,
loving everything it signals: the new scent in the air, the cooler days and darker nights, the evenings
gathered around candlelit tables with friends. I love school supplies and new books. I had been looking
forward to this change in our family direction as well. I was thrilled for both girls to be rooted in a school
outside our own walls and to have the chance to experience all the joys and challenges that are ahead.
My body was struggling, though. My brain and its rational thought, my heart and all of the poetry and
music which usually console it, were both feeling as if they were standing across a canyon from my belly
and limbs. My body grew this child out of love and deep desire and then pushed her out into the bright
world. Now she was moving away from me in a way that my body refused to accept even though my
heart was celebrating. My body felt separate and numb. My body was having its own experience.
The last two weeks we discussed sex at midlife. Bronwyn and I tried our best to do it in a three-
dimensional way but we only touched the surface. There’s so much to say and some of it asks for
language we’re still learning ourselves—the nuance of varied experiences and desires. There really is
such a vast amount of truth here. We could probably stay on this topic for weeks and still be learning
new things and hearing new stories. Instead of pausing here, though, we’re going to do what is
becoming our custom whenever we’ve approached a really big topic that brings up really big feelings:
we’re going to come back to the body. Of course we know that sex is about our bodies. But sex, in its
fluidity and complications, asks questions about the other experiences and memories of our bodies, too.
How we feel about one informs how we feel about the other. We experience sex, like everything we do
as humans, in these bodies. All of our stories follow us in.
This week we’re going down below sex. We’re going to gently and tenderly talk about our bodies. Our
word for the week is Inhabit and we’d like to consider our bodies in the same way we consider beautiful
and unique houses. Are you wide, tall rooms where light falls across wooden floors, or shadowed spaces
carpeted in dark velvet? Do you envision deep-tufted chairs pulled close to a window? Are you full of
music and books, plans and adventures, wide spaces of long loneliness? What have you lived through?
What have you loved the most and what have you lost? Everything we do, dream, and know happens
within these breakable and incredibly resilient walls. Join us as we honor the experiences and truth of