Reunion

by

Babies.

Burners.

Bounty.

Berkeley (North)

Boom.

The room was filled with the laughter and bouncing and the juggling of three babies between six adults who were also busy getting back in touch with one another whilst talking sleep schedules, breast feeding, nursing pads, cloth diapers, double strollers, swaddling blankets, burping, gas, and well, all that is baby and life and beauty.

It was something else to see my beautiful friends with their beautiful offspring.

I did not feel left out or unnecessary or unloved, abandoned, alone, without.

I did not compare and despair.

That was nice.

I just got to look around the room with all my friends and have an afternoon of doing the deal and helping one another out and being of service.

Really, not much, but just the showing up, the making a few phone calls and the gathering of folks, friends from the city, from Castro Valley, from North Berkeley and from the fellowship.

It was amazing.

Nice is not doing it justice.

There was nothing special going on, but at the same time it was so special it made my heart ache.

In a very good way.

And also to know that I am not left behind, despite not being coupled up, married, or with baby, or twins as was the case with one or my friends.

I had to say it is astounding how a dad can get used to carrying small cargo.

He picked them up and carried them like he was holding footballs, tucked them under his arms and moseyed about.

I had never thought of my friend as a dad, but there he was, going to the next level, doing the next thing, giving mom a break and hanging out with us for the afternoon to help our friend who’s little one is now two weeks old.

And so big!

Of course, the last time I saw him he was just 18 or 19 hours old, so the growth is perhaps not that startling, but when you see them just a few weeks later, huge.

And healthy and gorgeous.

The blue eyes in the room were enough to make me gush and coo.

What I noticed too, is that my body did not react the same way it has in the past.

There was a time, around 37/38 when my body would respond, ache, with chemical need for a baby.

I noticed it.

My friends noticed it.

It’s hard to not when you see me flirting with a 2 and a 1/2 year old tow headed boy.

Or making goo goo eyes at a little girl with curly brown hair and soulful, deep brown eyes and a little bow mouth.

I would feel wracked with it sometimes.

I had the whole biological clock thing bad.

But today.

Not so much.

And for perhaps the first time I was completely and totally fine with I’m not having children.

It doesn’t make me feel weepy or weird or alone.

I felt pretty at peace with it.

Which was sweet and not something I was too sure about sharing.

I did think and have thought about having children, and I have had so many people tell me what a good mom I would make, that in a certain kind of way, I just suspected it would happen.

But as I am 42, single, and there has not been anyone since my ex, and the urge seems to be lessening, I am content to bask in the bounty of my friends and their broods.

And.

It was also a Burning Man reunion.

All six of us were at the event last year.

Although only two or us are going for sure this year and only one of us currently has a ticket.

“Listen, just keep talking action and seeing what you can bring and just plan on going, the Universe will get you a ticket, you will go,” I assured my friend as he told me about not having gotten a ticket the first round of sales and how he had registered for the Secured Ticket Exchange Program (STEP) and of course there is also the OMG sale, where a limited, but still significant number of tickets become available, 1,000, are released in early August.

“You’ll get a ticket, you will,” I said emphatically.

Then we talked about what service we were going to be doing and what we wanted to bring to the playa and how it’s changed both or our lives.

This event will make number 9 for me and there have been significant milestones in all of them.

Highlights that come up in my brain without much thought:

-putting Shadrach’s ashes in the Temple my first year

-a woman holding my hand at the Temple burn the next year while I sobbed (I hadn’t been able to stay and watch the burn the year before and it all came right back up)

-fighting in Thunder Dome

-the first time I went to the hot springs pre-event and the stars, shooting stars over head, no land light, just hot pools of water and black inky stars and a meteor shower

-putting make up on my friend the first night of her first burn and then taking her up to Gate when they opened it and cheering in the stands

-flying over the event in a small 4 seater Cessna airplane (I’ve gone up three times now, it’s astounding every time)

-being gifted Inner Circle passes five times for the night of the Man Burn

-seeing my face one of those years from the Burn get transposed in the final minutes of Spark: A Burning Man Story

-holding hands with Junebug and walking around the outskirts of Center Camp Cafe and she stops me abruptly, “Carmen, I love you.”  OH MY GOD.  I love you too, bunny, just a tiny, teeny, HUGE, bit.

-helping plaster the Narwhal at night it’s inaugural run on playa

-reciting poetry into a friends ear and the way his eyes bled blue into the high dusty sky

-being strapped into a huge tractor tire, pre-event, and getting the tire swing ride of a lifetime–lifted by a giant crane and swung around the air.

-rolling around the open playa in a golf cart and taking photographs

-meeting Duane with El Pulpo Mechanico and having a wonderful heart to heart with him

-all the tears, the discoveries, the revelations, the solo bicycle rides deep into the playa accompanied only by the imperial violet of the sky and the sunset, the solo naps out at Starfuckers before the event, the dancing, alone and in mobs of people, the shared coffees and dance offs when I volunteered with the Cafe my first year, the subsequent jobs, duties, and work, the art.

-OH, the art

I could go on for sometime.

There is so much there for me to remember and so much to look forward to and as I see my friends and their babies and I see me and my own endeavors I can only be more grateful that I get to keep doing this way of life and showing up and seeing what I can put into it.

Rather than take from it.

Please help me give rather than take.

I end up receiving so much more that way anyway.

Love.

Peace.

Fellowship.

Happiness.

Joy.

Freedom.

Basically.

All the things.

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