If as a monk or nun in past lives I’ve learned how to have one kind of community in my practice and worship, to take orders from an abbot, to have vows of silence, or to lead a flock, to be separated from the world in the seeking of the Holy, I am learning now about a different sort of community and isolation, to take orders from my Self, to take different sorts of vows, how to lead a different kind of flock, to be in the world and seek the Holy.
Sometimes I sit in my altar room after the kids are asleep and I make Formal Magic. These muscles don’t get flexed very often, and when they do they feel creaky, but enthusiastic. But mostly my home is my temple and my daily life my practice and sweat, blood and tears my offerings.
There are times that I’ve had people wonder or even be borderline insulted the notion that there are things about parenting, particularly when your child is small, that are very like monasticism. How dare you liken woo to wiping noses!
I then wonder why one would think that the Gods don’t occasionally wipe our noses when we need it, but I digress. This entry by MyOwnAshram does a good job of encapsulating how mothering is isolating and othering, not in a bad way – but in its capacity to reorder your priorities and dramatically change the rhythm of your life. Your focus is both very short-term and very long-term. You may just need to get through today because the baby’s melting down, or the Work is beating a tap dance on your brain, but you’re also aware that you’ve made a commitment that will never go away, not even when you die.