December in Oakland and a Red Thread for Mothers

This is what December looks like here in Oakland. It always amazes me that we have flowers at the farmer's market and Christmas trees on the corner. Squash, greens, roots, apples, persimmons, and citrus fruit abound. And a very low December sun makes for very long sidewalk shadows.


I've managed to find moments in the studio to make a handful of Christmas ornaments for our sweet little tree. The "peace" ornaments might one day become a mobile or a wall hanging or something to hang near our stockings.


Our little one is 6-weeks old and my heart and head are still planted in my new world of motherhood and also the practical parts of tending to a newborn and being on maternity leave. Not surprisingly, I often find myself thinking about lineage and my own mother and my grandmother and I imagine them tending to their own tiny humans and wondering when they too would return to the things they had nearly forgotten.

And I imagine this is how my mother did it. And how her mother did it. And how the mothers before them did it too. How there is this long red thread of lineage holding us all together over decades and then over centuries. How all the mothers before me held onto that same red thread as they tended to their newborns and contemplated their new identities as "mother".

Their bodies accomplishing amazing feats. New levels of physical pain and tiredness and also reveling in the simplest new joys and holding fast to that thread knowing that all too soon the whir of the world would be back inside their hearts and homes. And how the newborns hold to that thread too, learning miraculous skills like how to turn their heads from side to side and then suddenly purse their lips into a very first smile.

And my heart continues to peel back and open.



  1. Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas. And keep enjoying your little one. It is amazing how quickly they grow and how each new skill they acquire is its own daily miracle to be treasured.

  2. Oh, Katrina. Your babe is beautiful and this post made me cry. So sweet. Happy Happy Happy and Congratulations on Your New Life. xoxoxo Ama

  3. The pain is real, but makes room for such depths of love and joy. Maxwell is lucky to have found you as his mother. xoxo

  4. hi you. it's amazing huh? so cliche, but yet so true. once a mother you understand and feel connected to all the other mothers. it's inevitable...


  5. belly: thank you for such kind wishes.

    dear ama: so nice to see you here! and such lovely wishes from you, dear lady.

    kj: you speak the truth, wise woman, you certainly do.

    lisa: wow. yes and yes and yes.


Thank you for your comments, friends. I like to think we are creating a dialogue in this space--building a virtual community.