Maggie

Maggie stood at her kitchen sink, washing the breakfast dishes from the morning rush. The kids had gone off to school and Mark to work. 

She looked out the kitchen window, as she ran her dish cloth around the next breakfast bowl. ‘How divine is my life?’ She thought and let out a sigh.

Never in her wildest dreams did she believe this kind of life was possible but it was, and here she was living it – every single bit of it.  

Soaking it all in, Maggie’s eyes moved from flower to flower, bee to bee, native bird to native bird as they all danced through her yard.

She was in awe and wonder. It was beautiful.

There were green tree frogs jumping into the creek at the end of the property, kookaburras singing loudly in the Eucalyptus tress, and the ducks waddling around the back yard, eating as they went.

Her life was an absolute dream and she was excited for the new additions that Mark was bringing home – a bee hive.

Maggie had always loved honey. She loved it on toast, as a face mask on her skin and she loved to use it in her cooking. But what she really loved was watching the bees move through her garden, tantalising the flowers to open up. It was a like a game, an erotic dance. 

The bees would first look at the flowers and it was almost like they try to hold hands with the flower, then they’d gently land on the beautiful petals, flapping their wings, then flying off to watch as the flower slowly starts to open.

The game continues until the flower is fully open and the bee can take the nectar.

It’s a divine dance of the feminine and masculine, and how nature works together.

Maggie was lost in thought, as she heard, ‘Shoo, shoo, get away.’

She didn’t have to look far to know where that was coming from, Maggie giggled to herself. The old man next door was constantly harassing the ducks, or maybe the ducks were harassing him, either way it was funny.

She continued to watch the old man for a few moments as he wandered down into his yard. ‘Off to let his chickens out.’ She thought. 

The old man did look after his chickens well and he did cope with having Teddy come to visit most days to play with the chickens, which was lovely.

Maggie put the last dish in the drying rack and then looked at the seeds she’d been growing on her window sill, it was time to plant them.

‘Aggghhh,’ she heard a loud scream, and when Maggie looked out her window, she saw the old man sitting on his bum. ‘He must have fallen over’ she thought. Maggie wondered if he was ok, and watched as he slowly, one leg at a time, got to his feet. 

The old man dusted himself off and kept walking.

‘He’s ok,’ Maggie thought and smiled.

Maggie kept as many seeds as she could from the food they made, so anytime she cut a pumpkin she’d pull out the seeds and put them onto wet cotton wool and she’d keep the wool wet to see which seeds grew. Once they were ready, she’d plant them in small pots to again, see which ones would grow and go to the next stage.

She was mindful of allowing her seeds to grow slowly and sustainably, to have the best chance of survival. She’d learnt this over the years and smiled as she remembered a time when she just put all the seeds in the ground and hoped. 

Out of about 30 seeds two grew. She was so excited but also a little disappointed about the ones that didn’t grow, she new she had to learn more so she could nurture those little seeds better next time.

She did this same process with tomato, apple and pear seeds. They seemed to be the most successful, that said pear seeds were pretty fickle and of the 3 she’d successfully raised from a seed, they’d died when she moved them in to a pot. Perhaps it was the soil, perhaps it was lonely, perhaps it was the mulch, she didn’t know but she wanted to experiment.

Today, Maggie was planting 4 tomato seeds and 2 apple seeds. There were a lot more seeds on the tray but they weren’t ready yet.

Maggie took the tray out to her green house. Putting it on her bench, she went to pick up her gardening gloves and some small pots. She looked over some of her little pots and noticed that she could add the apple seeds to an existing pot that already had two little apple seeds – now little apple trees in it, but she had to create a new pot for the tomato seeds.

Maggie picked up the apple tree pot and put that on her bench, then she used her little shovel to put soil in one of her empty pots, ready for the tomatoes.

With her wooden dibbler, Maggie made 4 holes in the soil of the tomato pot and two holes in the soil of the apple pot. Then she gently pulled the seeds and their roots out of the cotton wool and put them into the soil, closing up the holes to protect the roots and help the plants stand up.

She then reached down and pulled out a small handful of sugar cane mulch, placing that on top of the soil and around each plant. There were going to thrive, she just knew it.

Maggie picked up her hose and gently dribbled some water onto each pot. Just enough to dampen the soil and help the plants thrive.

Maggie put the pots back with the existing ones, careful to make sure the apple plants were with the apple trees and the tomato plants were with the tomato plants, she then gave them all a water.

Mark had hooked up an automatic watering system in the glass house, which was amazing and so helpful on days where Maggie had a lot going on, but today, she had time to hand water and her heart felt so full when she was hand watering, it was like her heart would burst at the opportunity she had – the gift of bringing a seed to life and to be part of the cycle of life.

These seeds would create plants, that would create fruit. That fruit would contain seeds that Maggie would then harvest, when preparing food for her family and friends, that would then grow on Maggie’s wet cotton wool and the cycle would start again.

Maggie felt so blessed. 

Soil, water and seeds. Food and life was that simple.

 

Maggie slowly, finger by finger, took her gloves off. Setting them on the bench, she headed towards her backdoor as Milo, their cat, wandered passed her legs.

Maggie paused and Milo rubbed her face against Maggies calves making sure her cheek bones were suitably stroked. Putting pressure as she moved her face up Maggie’s calf, starting at her nose and down to the very edge of her cheek bone. ‘Oh that feels amazing,’ Milo thought.

‘You look very happy,’ Maggie said as she bent down to pick Milo up.

Milo flopped into Maggie’s arms, right at home and feeling very loved, like the baby of the family but also the one that ruled the roost!

Maggie rubbed Milo’s tummy and he began to purr, feeling like he could stay there all day. 

The sun was warming up Milo’s black fur and he could feel himself being lulled to sleep, which he was all for, until there was a loud THUD.

Milo’s hair stood on end as he jumped out of Maggie’s arms and ran for the safety of the nearest chair. Under the chair he could see anything and no one could see him.

THUD

There it was again.

Maggie looked around, wondering where the noise was coming from. It was the old man, chopping up wood.

‘Hello’ Maggie said, waving her arm at the old man.

He didn’t hear her.

THUD, as the axe came down again.

Maggie thought about calling out again but instead she walked back inside. She had a client call coming up and wanted to prepare herself for it.

 

She’d been working with Jo, a beautiful soul – actually all of Maggie’s clients were beautiful souls, for a couple of months, helping her to balance her hormones and hopefully, soon, fall pregnant.

Maggie was a practicing Naturopath and had been helping women fall pregnant for decades. She was called the ‘baby maker’ to her clients. Maggie loved her work and after she’d solved her own fertility issues, she knew she had to help other future-mums on their journey.

She was able to keep things simple for future-mums and in turn, they were able to create amazing results together.

Similar to the seeds in the pots, Maggie took it one step at a time with her clients. She didn’t want to overwhelm them, when they already had a lot going on, and held a nurturing space for her clients because what we think is so natural – being a mum – can sometimes not be a natural thing. It can be hard and in the modern world with a lot of stress, conflicting information and options, people often didn’t know what to do, they become stuck, frozen in time.

Maggie would take those frozen future-mums, help them reduce their stress, give them love so they could soften into the amazing woman they are and help them to nurture the seeds within them, that they in turn would nurture with love.

‘Hi Maggie.’

‘Hi Jo, lovely to chat with you again.’

‘Oh it’s so great to chat with you too.’ Jo said with the biggest smile on her face.

‘How are things going Jo? What’s been happening since our last call?’ Maggie asked.

Maggie and Jo had been catching up fortnightly, and Maggie had given Jo some supplements, food changes and stress relieving activities to do over the last few months. Jo was an amazing client, she always made time for her ‘baby work’ and because Maggie made things so simple, Jo found them really easy to implement.

Jo had been trying to fall pregnant for 3 years but with no luck. She’d seen lots of amazing doctors and specialist but nothing quite worked and she hadn’t found someone she resonated with until she meet Maggie.

She’d been referred to Maggie through a work colleague who’d had success falling pregnant with Maggie’s guidance so she thought, ‘why not.’

Jo’s expectations weren’t huge, given she’d been trying for 3 years, but Maggie’s suggestions really supported her and because Maggie had focused on Jo, Jo was then able to surrender to everything in the baby world. 

If things didn’t work with Maggie, Jo was going to look at IVF but she knew she didn’t have a lot of time to dive into that space, given she was already 35.

But Jo had news for Maggie today, exciting news that she was keen to share.

‘Everything’s been going really well. I’ve been tracking my stress levels with my new WHOOP, it’s a super cool device that measures so many things, including my stress levels so as I’ve been able to watch the times of day that my stress is high and then I implement the strategies we’ve talked about and it’s really helping.’

‘That’s wonderful Jo, it’s incredible to feel in control of our body isn’t it?’

‘Oh yes, so wonderful. I thought that stress was something I just had to live with.’ Jo said with air quotes when she said ‘live with’. ‘But I really don’t. Dave has commented that I’m so much more relaxed and I don’t snap as much.’ She laughed, ‘Yeah it wasn’t great!’ She was shaking her head, a bit embarrassed actually.

‘Also, the supplements are really helping. I know we’ve talked about my poo and the fact that I wasn’t going to the toilet enough, well guess what – I’m now going daily, how cool is that.’

‘That’s very cool and well done on seeing how stress doesn’t have to be our every day. It can absolutely play a part in our lives but it doesn’t have to rule our lives. Well done you.’ Maggie clapped her hands in front of the screen, in recognition of Jo’s achievements.

Jo smiled. Jo really loved Maggie, she really felt that Maggie was there for her and that no matter what happened, Jo knew she’d be better for knowing her.

‘Now tell me, we made some food changes last time, just a few small things like reducing gluten, eggs and soy. Some of the inflammatory foods that came up as causing inflammation in your body. How have things gone in this space?’

‘That hasn’t been so easy, but I have made some progress. I’m now having oat mylk instead of soy mylk, that was the only time I was having soy. So that’s a win. I’ve shifted my scrambled eggs on toast to chia puddlings, which are actually really yummy, yummier than I thought they’d be, so thank you for that suggestion. It was fun finding recipes and experimenting with them. As for the gluten, well I don’t eat rye and barley, so that’s easy, but wheat is a bit harder. Of course I’ve shifted my breaky so that’s a gluten win and I’m about 50/50 the rest of the time, it just depends on what’s happening and what’s going on.’ Jo stopped talking, but Maggie could tell she was thinking so didn’t say anything, she just held space for Jo. 

‘Oh but what I have done really well, and I know we talked about this in our first session, I’m drinking over 2 litres of water a day now, which is a real win and I’m excited about that, it’s taken me weeks to get there but I feel like I have a really good routine with it now – a new habit that I’ve mastered, at least I think so.’

Jo was so proud of herself and Maggie could see the delight in Jo’s eyes. 

‘Jo, that’s incredible, well done on everything you’ve achieved in the food space. It’s not easy but finding foods that taste yummy and heal our bodies is possible. Plus getting to 2 litres of water a day, amazing. It’s important to take that one slow because you can end up on the toilet a lot if you go hard at the start.’

Jo laughed, ‘Well I’ve certainly had a few days like that, but generally it’s been pretty good.’

Maggie was all smiles for Jo and at this point it was all about continuing to do what Jo’s been doing. Maggie wasn’t going to introduce any changes in this session but she did have a question for Jo.

‘Jo you’re doing really well, what I’m curious to know is, with all of the shift and changes you’ve made, how are you feeling?’

Jo sat with Maggie’s question for a moment. She thought Maggie was going to ask her about shifts in the baby department, but Maggie always kept the sessions about Jo, knowing that if Jo was healthy and well the bub would come.

Jo smiled, ‘I think the best way to describe how I feel is lighter, freer and happier than I’ve been in years, and that’s a big statement given we’ve only been working together for a few months.’

Jo stopped talking and Maggie could see that she was thinking again, so stayed quiet.

‘You know.’ Jo said. ‘I thought all of this work would be harder. I wondered – why me? Why couldn’t I get pregnant but I see it now, I see that I had to be right for my bub to come. I had to make sure my garden, so to speak, was ready so my bub could have the best chance and I can see that’s what we’re doing here, so thank you.’

Jo had a tear in her eye.

Maggie smiled warmly at Jo and let her sit with what she’d said for a moment. Then said ‘You’re so welcome Jo, and you’re right, your garden has to be ready and flourishing to be able to hold your bub and to give it the best nutrients to grow. This isn’t an easy path and not everyone has to go on this path, but it feels to me that you’re right where you’re meant to be and your time as a mum is coming.’

Jo burst into tears. Maggie didn’t know if they were happy tears or not, she watched Jo for a moment and just as she was about to ask her if she needed a moment or to get a tissue, Jo said:

‘Maggie, I’m pregnant. It’s just a few weeks, 6 we think, but I’m pregnant. I couldn’t believe it at the start so I’ve been waiting for things to fail, but I did a test again this week and it was positive – again.’ Jo had big snot-tears rolling down her face.

‘Congratulations Jo, are those happy tears.’

‘Oh yes.’ Jo said, quickly grabbing a tissue. ‘Yes happy tears and I should have told you at the start of our call but I was so caught up in catching up and then you saying what you said about my garden and you were so right, I hadn’t been looking after my garden…’ 

This time Jo broke down, sobbing deep tears.

‘Oh Jo, I’m here for you, take your time.’ Maggie said to her, looking deeply into the screen.

Maggie had been working with clients online since they moved to the country. It was easier to connect with people that way but when these things happened, and they happened more often than not in Maggie’s work, she really wished she could be sitting side by side with clients so she could give them what they needed. Perhaps a warm hug or a hand to hold or to just sit beside them while they cried.

‘I’m so sorry Maggie.’ Jo blubbered, trying to pull herself together whilst blowing her nose loudly into her tissue. She hadn’t expected to get this upset because it was such great news. 

‘Jo there’s nothing to apologise for.’ Maggie said with a huge smile, ‘this is great news and exactly what you’ve been working towards.’

‘Oh my, I don’t know where that came from.’ Jo said still crying and whimpering.

‘Well.’ Maggie said. ‘We 100% know that you’re pregnant.’

Jo laughed, ‘all those pregnancy hormones huh?’ She looked up smiling at Maggie.

‘Yep, all those pregnancy hormones.’ Maggie smiled.

Maggie finished up she session with Jo. It went a bit longer than planned but Maggie had time for that. She always made sure she had space between clients so if they ran over time it was ok. It didn’t happen very often and it was space for Maggie to write up her notes and get a cup of tea or ground herself in the grass, whatever she needed so she could be the best version of herself for her clients.

 

Maggie had a full day in her practice and she’d just sat down with her rooibos tea when the kids ran through the door from school.

She could hear them from the street, they were noisy and rambunctious, which she loved.

‘Hi Mum,’ said Teddy.

‘Hi Mum,’ said Jem chimed in.

‘Hi Darlings, how was your day?’ Maggie held her arms out and welcomed both her babies in for a big hug. The kids dropped their bags and ran into her embrace.

‘Ohhhhh, I love our cuddles.’ Maggie said as she squeezed her beautiful babies.

The kids laughed and tightened their arms around their Mum. She truly was the best mum and they both knew it.

‘Right’ Maggie said, as she pulled them all out of their embrace, still hanging on, of course, ‘afternoon tea is up!’ She smiled brightly at them.

The kids ate just about anything but it hadn’t always been that way, she’d struggled to get them to eat the same thing at the same time, and then one would like skin on their apples and the other didn’t like apples at all, but Maggie persevered always putting it on their plates and noticing what got eaten.

She gave more apple to the compost heap than she liked but the compost heap was happy and occasionally herself or Mark would eat the left overs.

On their plates today were strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and pear. Not all favourites but something for everyone.

The strawberries were always a hit and lately Teddy had been loving the blueberries. Jem was always a raspberry fan, and Maggie nibbled on the pear.

The kids shared about their day. The friends they played with, how Teddy had decided to just hang out by himself during the lunch break for a while – because it felt better to him, and how sport was the best subject of the day because they got to play Golden Child.

Maggie loved listening to her babies and helping them tap into what felt good to them. She didn’t avoid the hard conversations but she wanted to create a safe space where everything was welcome and to teach them how to tap into their intuition and to know that when they did, they always won, even when they felt it was the ‘hard’ decision.

 

As the kids sat down to do their homework, easy for Jem but more challenging for Teddy. Both kids were capable, they just had different preferences about how they wanted to spend their afternoons, but Maggie had a rule, afternoon tea, then homework, then play. It wasn’t a smooth ride but one that worked for them, most of the time.

As the kids pottered away with whatever they were assigned that week, Maggie tidied up from afternoon tea and started preparing dinner. They were having veggie soup and Maggie loved throwing in all the veggies, which made for a very full pot of soup.

Not long after, Mark came home from work. Pulling up in the driveway, the kids took this as an opportunity to let go of their homework and welcome Dad home.

Jem was first to the front door, ‘Dad,’ she yelled out in excitement. Jem was Daddy’s girl, she’d always been attached to her father and of course he returned the love with huge smiles, love and cuddles. Maggie would often find them hanging on the couch laughing and telling each other ridiculous jokes. Mark loved a good ‘Dad joke’ and Jem obliged him, laughing loudly!

‘Jem.’ Mark said with a huge smile on his face as he got out of the car. ‘How was your day?’ Mark never asked ‘how was school?’ because he wanted everything, every little detail she’d give him and he would listen for hours.

She ran through the front door and gave him a big hug, ‘it was awesome Dad. I played with Tilly, Cara and Johanna, we had the best time climbing the jungle gym and I even got an award for best listener!’ Jem smiled proudly at her Dad.

‘How come you didn’t tell me about that?’ Maggie asked Jem.

‘You didn’t ask.’ She smiled cheekily at her mum.

‘Well now, I’ll remember for next time.’ Maggie raised her eyebrow and gave a cheeky smile back to Jem.

‘Dad.’ Teddy said as he came out behind Maggie, and gave his Dad a hug.

‘Hey Tigger, how was your day?’

‘Yeah, ok.’

Teddy wasn’t one for many words, well not initially anyway. His response was always the same, and then, like a flower, he’d unfurl his petals spilling everything.

‘Well guess what?’ Mark said to the kids.

‘What.’ Teddy said.

‘You got the bee hive??’ Jem enquired. She knew it was coming, so did Teddy, but Jem remembered details.

‘I did.’

Jem let out a squeal the whole neighbourhood could hear.

Maggie smiled at Mark, ‘I guess she’s excited.’ She said.

Mark smiled back, leaned in for a kiss and said ‘I guess she is!’

‘Welcome home Handsome.’ Maggie said.

‘It’s great to be home my beautiful Princess.’ He said back to her and squeezed her hand.

They had always called each other by their pet names, but Maggie couldn’t remember how it started. If she had to guess, it was in the before kids days, when they both worked out in the world, they would email each other when they got to work and Maggie had probably addressed one of the emails to ‘Hi Handsome,’ and Mark replied with ‘Hi Beautiful Princess.’ And it had stuck.

 

The kids helped Mark take the bee hive around the back. It was all in boxes so that became their homework. They unpacked everything and slowly built it. Teddy’s interest lasted about 5 minutes, but he stayed a bit longer to show his support before disappearing over the fence to visit the old man’s chickens.

Teddy would be much better once we had bees. He’s be there to collect the honey and would happily eat it all day long.

Jem on the other hand was much better in the build, because she got to hang with her Dad, and they chatted the whole time. As for the collection of honey, she’d come to help but wouldn’t stay, getting distracted with the flowers or the play gym.

Maggie smiled as she reflected on how funny and wonderfully unique both of her kids were.

Maggie had finished off the veggie soup, it tasted amazing, and had come out to help Mark carry the bee hive down the back behind her green house. They’d levelled ground prior to buying it and laid pavers for the hive to sit on.

‘It fits perfectly.’ Jem said, smiling.

‘It does darling.’ Mark said to her.

‘When can we get bees?’ Jem asked.

‘Well I’m speaking with a bee guy at the moment and hopefully in a couple of weeks we can go and pick some up, he’s going to ring and let me know.’

‘Eeeekkkk, how exciting!!!’ Jem squealed. 

Maggie smiled, she loved watching her kids excitement and getting to be a part of it. 

‘Ok dinner time.’ Maggie said.

‘Jem can you go and get your brother?’ Maggie asked.

‘Ohhhh do I have to? Can’t we just yell at him?’ Jem asked her Mum.

Maggie chuckled, ‘No we can’t just yell at him sweetheart, can you see him over there?’ Maggie looked over to the old man’s yard. ‘I can’t, so can you go and find him please?’  She said kindly to Jem.

‘Oh alright.’ Jem was frustrated that she had to help, wondering why she was always the one who had find Teddy.

‘I’ll come with you pumpkin.’ Mark said, that made Jem smile, it always did.

As they sat down to dinner that night Maggie reflected on their day. Their wonderful garden, her amazing clients, the kids and school, plus Mark, they’re amazing Mr Wonderful. They had a lot to be grateful for.

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