Sometimes I catch myself, this laying a hand on my flatness, over that still cavity, and feeling the pulse of ache’s echoing howl. A woman’s body and soul is hollowed out to create, to weave, to knit in the private spaces. And so the longings come, yearnings to fill, to carry, to deliver.
And yet, I have come to think, does the womb need a seed, an unfurling, embryonic soul? Can any soul fill the void? While not necessarily with child, perhaps we may be with abandoned, with elder, with needy. The barren and deserted may become the dwelling place, the fertile home, of souls seeking mother-care.
And I realize: We never cease to be with child. Those of us who have birthed, and those of us who never have. We may make spaces within us for all of humanity, for their dreams, their stories, their hurts, their lives. Do we not, over the years, line our lives with the stretchmarks of love?
The privilege of carrying a soul is always ours. We may choose to never let our wombs languish empty. Always we may open and welcome another person to find nourishment and comfort within the empty places we have made just for them.
Somewhere under this night pinned up with stars, a baby sleeps near her mother’s face, her warm breath falling, her fists clenched tight. And we of empty uteruses still swell, making ourselves a dwelling place.