Today is the day. This is the day I enter a new cycle of my life, the one day of a woman's life they call menopause. Every day from here on forward I am post-menopausal. I thought this particular day deserved a mention, a marking of the time. This is a significant moment in my life, and I am treating it thus.
Until very recently, I wouldn't have written about this in such a public way. As it is, women's cycles are still spoken about in hushed tones, with apology's given before or after being mentioned, in certain circles in this crazy, open, western culture that I live in. Yet, that is the most unnatural way to treat the very aspect of life-givingness that these cycles represent. Women bleed. This is a fact. It happens every single month for most women on this planet for a significant amount of their life, and we shun it, and denounce it, and speak about it with shame. This is changing.
I started to bleed when I was 13 years old. I was in Eighth grade and on a class trip to Washington DC. I knew what to expect, we were pretty savvy to what was happening with the birds and bees, my friends and I. Some of them were already cycling. I was happy about it when it started to happen. It seemed interesting, a change in my body that signified something cool. I didn't understand what it all meant. Of course I got the basics, but it took me decades to really, deeply understand what this change connected me to.
I knew I could give life, that I could conceive a child and be a mother. That's not that abstract of an event to a 13 year old, albeit a daunting one. What took me so much longer to tune into was that this event held in store for me, to happen upon when my immature being was ripe enough to understand, the ancient and eternal collective wisdom of these cycles. Wisdom that has given me access to the profound love and total acceptance of self that I experience today.
Accessing this wisdom took me decades, and it is really only now, upon cessation, that I am wise and still enough to see how I am connected to all women who've ever lived on this earth, and to whom will ever live on this earth, through my womb and this process of menstruation. This is an unspeakable power, a trust of the feminine, and a divine honor to embody.
Right on. I agree that it’s time to be done wrapping cloaks of shame and hush around basic human experience for women. This doesn’t have to keep being the dark ages. I would love to see a lot more of what you are doing here in the world – bravo and welcome to the next phase of womanhood!
This is a beautiful and much needed piece of writing, Mellie. Thank you for shining light on this pivotal time in our lives. We need more celebration of this transition and all of the gifts that come with growing in wisdom in this life. Amen, sister!