Mami

 (photo by the amazing  Ruth Clark )

(photo by the amazing Ruth Clark)

I became Mami two years ago when my then 10 year old came home after school using that name as his term of endearment for me.

None of us really questioned it, other than my daughter who has proclaimed she will never call me that.

I love it.

My favorite part of the name is that once the boys started using it, my two bonus kids adopted the name for me as well. I'm a huge part of their mothering world and for us to have a name that ties the kids together as a family is what they were craving deeply.

For me the name has been my becoming. Going from 3 kids to 5. From a single mom terrified that I wouldn't be able to do it, to being a primary care giver to our family of seven.

I did some research on the word and Wikipedia has a long list of different things Mami is associated with, along with the Latin reference to Mother.

Mami Wata was on that list, a pantheon of ancient water spirits or deities. Mother of the water. 

Some stories tell of her abducting people when swimming in the water and how she brings them down to the paradisiacal realm and when they are let go they are found to have a new spiritual understanding reflected in their gaze, often having been said to grow wealthier, more attractive, and more easygoing after the encounter.

During last year's Magic Making Circle my spirit guide came to me, not from a magazine clipping as usual, but in a vision. I saw this water spirit that was fish like, wild hair. A seaweed soaked wild woman spirit.

I've let that image rest inside of me. As my hair is longer than ever before and my spiritual and physical world have drawn forth water as our home I feel like mother of the water.

Mami.

The women who come to the Lift Ups at the magic lake are quite possibly pulled into a realm that allows us all to leave with a new spiritual understanding, allowing the abundance and beauty and ease. 

Sometimes it feels we are chasing our becoming or scared of her or like we are looking into a steam covered mirror. Sometimes the image and the knowing are so clear we are in love with her and time lends the patience we need we to catch up with her.

Mami has become my home inside my body. A new moment to arrive at the mother I have longed to be and couldn't when my heart was hurting so deeply inside my marriage.

Mami has more patience, more curves, more love, more awe, more rawness, more laughter, more compassion.

I am still growing into her. 

She holds a shit ton.

She gets tired and needs more sleep than I ever did.

She is incredibly sexual.

Her focus is no longer making money to survive as her work is to nurture her family and tribe.

She is a healer, something I never identified with before.

She has the patience and calm to walk her man into his next iteration inside a mountain of old wounds and habits melting away. 

When things are off and I can feel the woman of my past taking over I withdraw. I go into my head. I go to this place that feels like Spirit's living room where I can sit with each part of myself. They are all there. Gathered. Some are fighting to be heard. Others are silently watching, feeling. 

I have rage at some of my parts. They hold that rage. 

I realize how much time I spend in my head, not reaching out, not talking about things.

The last few days I have been desperate for a change inside of something that feels like it is taking me down under water and holding me there. I pray that I can find my way up. That I can become the woman I am so in love with as my future self.  

Because the moments that feel like I can't breathe are no longer something I can let be part of who I am.

That spiritual resurfacing that Mami Wata gives is this abstract thing I know I am being asked to give myself.

And the only thing I know how to do right now is to be more still than I've ever been. And be Mami to the ones who need me. 

I need to discover how she gets dressed now. How she puts on make-up. How she adores her people. How she is choosing to love. How she finds her truth behind the anger, which right now feels like tears dripping down my face.

Mother of the water. Mami. Tears in my coffee. Spirit's living room. A gaze of kindness.
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