It has been MONTHS (October 2011) since I helped organize the ICTC South East Black Midwives and Healers Summit. During the summit, I was unable to blog as I had intended. As a key organizer and M.C., quite frankly, I could not find the time or energy. After the summit, I had every intention of doing a series of blog posts and for a variety of reason it never happened.
After such a long delay, I thought I might never do a post about the summit at all. As things would have it however, there was, and continues to be, a message from the Summit I feel compelled to share.
From day one of the summit, I knew we were in for a powerful weekend. During our opening ceremonies, Imam Mikal Shabazz brought us a message, one that, in my opinion, became the most important message of the entire summit.
He began… “This is a Summit, and not a conference… According to the dictionary, what is a summit? A summit is a place where the highest levels of leaders and officials gather… And when we think about a summit in the natural environment, a summit is the highest peak… and when you reach the summit you have accomplished something but what you have accomplished is not reaching the summit in and of itself but reaching the summit and then taking a look out into the horizon and seeing what you can see from the summit that will benefit others”
He reminded us that both Moses and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, were called to the summit… to the mountain top… and let us know that WE too had been called. We sat at attention as he assured us, if there was any doubt that we had been called… “You are here, so that means you were called.” And with that he asked… “Why are we here?? That’s something we have to reflect on. Many have been called, few have been chosen and YOU are here, and there is a reason why you are here.” That set a powerful tone. Yes we had been called and we knew we had a serious task ahead.
This message, this idea of being “called,” is not new to birth workers and it was reiterated the following day by Sula “The Doula.” She added another dimension as she shared a lesson she received. Her teacher reminded her that as she accepted her calling, she must recognize her calling came with a window of opportunity. What are you going to do while that window is open he asked her? And she asked us the same question.
I was overwhelmed with emotion the entire weekend. Through the words of Imam Shabazz, Sula “The Doula” and others, it was confirmed that I was walking on my path and my life is being divinely guided. On my 1.5 hour drive home I cried tears upon tears of joy and gave thanks for the revelations I received. I realized that have been called and my window of opportunity is NOW.
Recently, I had been challenging myself and trying to understand my role as a midwife. I have been looking, reading, listening, searching for a sign, direction, the perfect push to move me in the direction I was to go. There have been times when I felt like I was less of a midwife because I was not “catching babies.” This summit, with its many words of encouragement, and the revelations I received assured me that I was on my path. The summit gave me confirmation.
On the last day of 2011, I was literally on a mountain. I did not reach the summit of Haleakala but as I enjoyed the incredible views from the mountain, I felt an overwhelming sense of peace, and I was reminded of the messages from October. I have been called, and I am humbled by the reality of what that means. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve women, to assist with the ushering in of new life. I know that as I continue on my path as a “virtual midwife” and pregnancy coach, as I continue in my role as the South East Regional Rep for ICTC, whether I work as a home birth midwife or hospital based midwife, all of these things allow me to serve… to be… to do what I have been called to do.
ALL of us, who do this work have been called. Are you a birth worker? If so, you too have been called to the mountain top. Have you accepted your calling? We know it to be a calling. We know it to be a work of passion and humility. We know it to be a labor of love and I am honored that I have been called. I accept my calling and look forward to helping you Birth Something Beautiful in 2012 and beyond.
In Birth and Love