Being Fertile


The Creative Egg

“We have to get mooncakes” Nancy said, “they bring fertility. ”   Nancy lived in Chinatown in New York City and the bakery down the street from her had fresh mooncakes to celebrate the Chinese Moon Festival.

I was in my late 20’s and working in a museum on Long Island, picking up some of Nancy Grossman’s  sculptures from her apartment/studio, for a one person exhibit we were having.

I told Nancy I didn’t want to have children.

That’s when Nancy told me that fertility wasn’t just about having children.  She didn’t want to have children either, for her, fertility was about creating art.

Two nights ago,  Jon and I sat outside watching the fire we made to celebrate the first day of spring, when we saw an orange light glowing throughout the trees.  It was the full moon.  We watched it rise above the tree tops getting smaller and turning yellow then almost white.

I had been feeling the signs of my period coming on since the morning.  A dull ache or momentary sharp cramp, the moisture inside of me.

I’m 55 years old and still menstruate.

Not as dependably as I have my whole life, or for as long.  Now I often feel the signs twice a month, once, always when the moon is full.

My mother menstruated till she was 56 years old, so this might be my last year.  Although I’ve been thinking that for years now and my body seems to have other ideas.

It’s only recently that I’ve learned to think of bleeding once a month as a blessing, instead of an annoyance.  Even though I never wanted to have children, my body is doing what it does. And I appreciate its will.

My body has the same determination about creating as I do.

Maybe it was that mooncake I ate all those years ago.

Although I think  having met Nancy, who was living the kind of creative life I only dreamed of at the time,  did more for me than the mooncake.  She was a  woman I admired who understood that giving birth was only one way for women to create.  And that we have the choice of how our fertility will manifest.



4 thoughts on “Being Fertile

  1. I was hoping that others had commented on this interesting post. I do have children and never had one thought about being or not being fertile. But……by the time I was experiencing menopause (plus pre-menopause) my women friends and myself were all about the other kind of fertility. Growing into cronehood was exciting and empowering. The older women led and honored the younger women (in their early 50’s!) into their power. They talked of the withholding of blood as the withholding of wisdom. This wasn’t in a bad way – it was in a way of recognizing wisdom as power and doling it out as needed and having the energy to do just that. When a woman had her 50th birthday she would host a croning ceremony that would play out exactly as it needed to for her – gifts of healing, herbs, wise sayings were brought to the circle, to be shared by all and topped with chocolate! I’ll always remember my own ceremony from 15 years ago – being given permission to be strong, wise and wonderful.

    1. How wonderful Linda to be around women who recognize the beauty in all the stages of life. And I love your description of wisdom as power and energy. Strong, Wise and Wonderful, good words to remember. Thanks you!

  2. Maria, this beautiful post is a keeper…a celebration & a blessing. It made my soul resonate & gave me yet another reason to celebrate Spring.
    Many people believe that S. Florida doesn’t have a noticeable Spring. Yet as with most things, if paying attention, it’s VERY noticeable. Tabebuias glow…and the wind showers us with their golden blossoms; it’s bean-planting time; it’s time to haul out the mushroom basket & explore with my granddaughter new fungal growth in secret locations …and the snorkels & masks, to again venture to the beach, now the snowbirds have left.
    It is a heavenly time…and your celebration of the feminine in your brief entry made it even more amazing. Thank you!
    Virginia, Jensen Beach, Fla.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Full Moon Fiber Art